November 14, 2013

OHMYGAWDLIVINGWITHOUTINTERNETACCESSJUSTABOUTKILLEDME

but it didn't! and thanks to a second time out here, the cable guys finally set us up! holler!

this unexpected blip in service has obviously put a damper on daily blog posting now hasn't it? i did consider posting from my phone again but just look at that photo below! i refuse to post blurry photos from said device. so how long has it been? 4 days? hmm, what has happened in the last 4 days....

we spent our first night in our new home. it went like this.

moving from a 1900 sqft house to a 1500 sqft space is crowded. we were lucky enough to have a lot of amazing help so overall, the move itself was pretty smooth. saturday morning, we packed up the uhaul and made 3 trips to get most of it here. that includes a few packed cars each time as well. our garage was completely full and the house was like a maze.

once we decided to be done for the day, mostly because the sun sets so damn early, we grabbed some mexican food and headed to bed. with no crib set up, river slept right between us all night long. and even easton slept in our room. it was a cute scene, i'll tell ya.




November 8, 2013

CURRENT STATE OF CHAOS





i'm surrounded by boxes. and trash. odds and ends. lingering furniture. 
isn't moving grand? 

we bought home depot boxes, as we always do. then we hit the jackpot of used boxes on the curb just a few houses down. and so, we are equal opportunists in the big box store boxes. i do enjoy the cut out handles of the lowe's boxes. for your reference. and the colors, i like the colors better. 

empty bookshelves, empty closets. the best way to transport your clothing in a move. hands down. take note if you know not of this trick. just hang the clothes up in your new place, unwrap and voila! closet, done. bam. 

we got the keys today and took about 20 boxes over. it still doesn't feel real. a house that we own and are 100% responsible for? 
scary stuff. awesome stuff. deep breath stuff. 

wish me luck! 
new home, here we come. 

have a good weekend, pals. 

November 7, 2013

PROMPT WRITE // CHANGING MY NAME




Coming back to the blog still feels a bit forced to me and since everyday posting is a big goal for one who is super rusty, sometimes, I need me some prompts. Luckily, daily writing prompts can be found at Blogher for NaBloPoMo. 

Today's asks, if you had to switch your first name, what would you choose and why? 

Well. 

I've had one or two ongoing lists for my future children's names since before there was email. I used to write names in my diary - complete with a heart lock and key. Then, I wrote them in my journal with a picture of a lab puppy on it. Then, on my trapper keeper, on my lisa frank folders, on monogrammed looney tunes stationary, on my binder with the see-thru plastic sleeve on the outside that I used to slide my friend's class photos into...sometimes I even taped said photos onto a lined sheet of paper and then slipped them into the front of my binder. Look, everyone, I gots friendz. 

So names are kinda my thing, is what I'm saying here. 

I'm still mildly obsessed with a million names and since I only want 2 kids, I will sadly, not be employing near any of them. ::sadface::

It's rather difficult to choose one out of all my faves to replace Victoria buuuut today, since I have to choose, it'd have to be: Sloane. 

Because, I mean, hello. 

"Cameron, Cameron? Cam, can you hear me? Blink if you can understand me. Cam? Cam?" 

Shorts and a white leather jacket never looked so good. And never will again. 

If I were 12, I'd have chosen Samantha and made everyone call me Sam or Sammy. Much like I did when I was 12 and at Knotts Berry Farm with friends trying to meet boys from L.A. And when we're in line to ride the rollercoaster, the cute one might keep trying to get my attention by calling me Sam over and over until my friend pinched me because, oh right, that's me. 


November 6, 2013

MAKING MEMORIES

the last time we went to the pumpkin patch, river was exactly one month old. he was scrawny and pimply and basically cried the entire time. socks kept falling off his tiny, little, freezing feet. we had to change his diaper on a picnic table - which practically mortified hank to his death - and we neglected to even buy a pumpkin. 

this year, river is 13.5 months old. he is sturdy and independent. that day, he cried only when he couldn't walk everywhere on his own. we forwent the socks altogether and ended up with sweaty, stinky, toddler feet. we did end up changing his diaper in the back of our car - not embarrassing at all for hank, the pro. 

we didn't buy a pumpkin this year either. 

we did have a marvelous time walking through the rows and rows of pumpkins. it was a quiet weekday at the patch and it almost felt like we had it to ourselves entirely. i'd be ok living on a pumpkin farm with my family of three, oh yes, i would indeed. 









November 5, 2013

HOUSE & HOME

so, we bought a house the other day.
we're moving in this saturday.

to say that we're ready is an understatement. we've been looking for houses for about 3 years now. we've been in escrow before, we've been outbid a bajillion times, we've given up time and time again. it's been one of my least favorite experiences ever, possibly. 

when we saw this house, we had just lost out on yet another one. i swore if i heard the "highest and best" response one more time, i was going to lose my mind. but we pushed ahead and put a full asking offer on this home the same day it went on the market. we included a letter and a photo and didn't think for one second that we would get it. 

then, mere hours later, we were signing a deal. 

life. is. nutso. 

i've said over and over that i'd be a renter forever. one, because i hated the real estate game. and two, because i have always been reluctant to claim any one place as my own. to even start to imagine a future in this city or that city. to plan and dream. it always felt too dangerous, too soon, too wrong. how could i possibly love one place for that long? 

maybe it was having a child. maybe it was that our current rental felt so close to a home that i all of a sudden needed one of my own. one that i could do with as i pleased. that i could paint and decorate and change without the worry of a landlord disapproving. 

life had started to feel temporary and nothing held enough meaning. 

the second we made the decision to stay here in southern california, i felt happier. was that all it took? to make a fucking decision? to embrace the place where you live? 

well, shit. 

getting the house has been stressful, yes, but overall, really exciting and solidifying. it's our home already. it really, really is. 

and because now it's all real, i have been a pinterest fiend lately. im wholly inspired and cannot wait to get in there and do it up right.

just a few of my recent faves below...












all images via

November 4, 2013

SHHHH

Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsay able than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

November 3, 2013

WE CAMPED, WE SAW, WE'RE HOME.


No internet in the wilderness is slightly annoying. No internet in your home is not slightly annoying, it's super, ridiculous annoying.

So I'm home, showered, on the couch, but still blogging from my phone. Less than ideal if you have fat thumbs and are serious about image sizing and formatting.

Alas, this first world must go on.

Camping with a 14 month old is different than camping with an 11 month old. A mere 3 months later and curiosity is at an all time high. Nothing is off limits and nothing is too dangerous.

This also means no one is relaxing on a hammock anymore. One or in some cases, both parents are following the kid around to let them happily explore but not quite enough to injure themselves. It's a delicate balance.

There will be dirt. There will be tears.

There will also be laughs, smiles, clapping, squealing and rolling around in the dirt without abandon.

It's all good in the wild, with your wild.




















November 2, 2013

Trees! And kids are heavy.


Have you ever carried a 25 lb toddler on your back for a 4 mile hike, uphill?

If not, then I will tell you now that it's no easy task. And truthfully, it's an experience you can feel ok about skipping entirely. Because it is ridiculously hard. And heavy. Hea-veeeee.

I only made it about 10 minutes...maybe 7.

Hank and rivers uncle Kevin picked up the slack. Strong, sexy men really come in handy.

Or, you could just never hike with a toddler...it's a fair life choice.

Good news is! It's gorgeous here!




























November 1, 2013

NaBloPoMo



It is the first of November, yes?

I hate to start this month of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) off so poorly but I am currently typing on my iPhone, in the car, on my way to a campsite that word has it, does not have internet service. The horror!

So I will be trekking up to the ranger station at some point tomorrow to post what will probably be more photos than words because I ya know, camping is pretty and scenic and special.

This is our third camping trip as a family and I can't wait to see how much more River likes it this time.
He was a great camper at 8 months, even better at 11 months and now, at almost 14 months, when there is running involved...well I think he's going to be the happiest, dirtiest little boy you ever did see come Sunday.

And you'll hear about it all, because I'm back to blogging, biznatches.

So here we go! May this month kickstart that inertia that I need to keep it up all year long.

Holler.


October 22, 2013

A LIST OF WORDS

so that when we look back and wonder, what were you saying at 13 months?




as of today, river says:

ball
bite
bah - for banana. every now and then, he mumbles something verrrry close to banana. 
bird/birdie
down/done
bubbles
duck
book
ice and hot - he always whispers these two words. 
bath - LOVES the bath. if he's grouchy, you can say bath to snap him out of it, but you better deliver on that promise! because he's already running to the bathroom and pulling his shirt up. 
eyes
nose
shoes
dada
dog
yeah
hi
no/no,no,no
again
this - used for anything he want. he points and says, this? and when i say no, like, for example, to the knife he wants, he arches his back and cries until i can distract him with something else. 
cheese
uh-oh
button - for anything that resembles a button and of course, for his belly button. the cutest!
butterfly
yay - always accompanied with a clap!
cock-a-doodle-dooo - which sounds more like "oodle, oddle, oooo"

doesn't say it but knows "high-five"
doesn't say it but knows "kiss" - he will often demand or comment on a kiss by saying "bah"

understand lots of commands!
drink your milk/juice/water.
come here.
sit down.
ready?
go get __.
where is ___?
throw the ball.
give it to the doggy/daddy/mommy.
dance.
sing.

i'm sure i am forgetting things but it's a decent summary.
go riv!

xo

August 31, 2013

IT'S HOT, SO I'M BLOGGING?

that there is a woman drinking a chocolate banana malt alone, in her car, while wearing overalls. 

it's basically never that i'm awake and at a computer at midnight, much less PAST midnight, as i am right this second! hi.

it's a random combination of things that make it so. one, it is hotter than a muthahugger in my house. it has been since about, ohhh, 7am this morning. not to mention all last night as well. last night when my kid decided to sleep perpendicular to me, on top of me, after wedging his hand under my chin and planting his foot behind my knee.

my neck was not happy today. my hot, achy, sweaty neck.

so i think i'm still awake in an effort to wait out the heat and, if i'm lucky, fall asleep with a slight breeze and an absence of under the knee/boob/elbow and duh, neck sweat.
that's my goal for the evening.

hank is watching chasing classic cars, as he does often.  it's a tv show about an old dude at car auctions. he tells me to look up or listen up every now and then. to which, i dutifully ooh and aah as if i have any idea what im looking at. expensive cars...not my jam. not even close.

did i ever tell you about the time i sold my spanky new 4 door toyota so that i could buy an old, manual volkswagen cabrio? it's definitely in my top 5 best decisions ever made list. along with marrying the henry and...and...hmm. maybe it's only a top 2 list.

and if you think im a mean ol' mommy who doesnt say having my sweet baby boy is the best decision i ever made well then, think what you will. no doubt i love that bunny boy with all my mommy might but im not sure i'd call it a decision.

i mean, yes, i had unprotected sex. yes, i went forward with the pregnancy and yes, i quit my job to stay home and raise the little boo. but i dunno, it kinda feels like something/one that happened to me/us. its a ride that im riding, not one that i control or actively decide how it will play out.

i'm a participant. learning as i go, enjoying the super amazing parts with my arms stretched high, smiling and laughing and covering my face and peeking through my fingers during the super scary and surprising parts.

it's life, man. it's not a volkswagen convertible.

which, if you're wondering, i no longer own. i sold it when i remembered how shitty traffic was without an automatic transmission. but shoot, i loved that thing and miss it often.

we're currently in the market for an international scout. manual only please.
if you happen to know of any...


June 27, 2013

NINE IS SO DAMN FINE




to say that this month is my favorite so far is the understatement of, well, the last nine months. the reasons that must be documented are as follows:

un: the waving. the on-demand waving. oh, it just gets me. i ask him to "wave hello" and after he's thought about it for a few seconds, he smiles and waves both hands at himself. he just watches his fingers moving in and out and is marveled. and so am i.

deux: the clapping. it started out a few days ago as a floppy hand party. he would bring his arms together and flap his hands, they wouldn't really make a sound when/if they touched but he knew his goal. and yesterday, he became a bonafide hand clapper. slappy sounds and all. he does it whenever i do it or if i say "yaaaay!" - which i am prone to do. and he almost always claps after a good walk or sometimes, even during!

trois: the walking. i know it's early and here comes trouble and all that jazz but gooodness me, it is THE cutest. it's also been in the last few days that he really wants to walk. pulls himself to any and everything, releases one hand and then there goes the other and he's off! wobbly and intentional all at the same time. his little hands wave in front for balance and if he should fall, it's with the best thud on his little diaper bum. and then he claps because he's done good. real good.

quatre: the kissing. the kissing. the kissing. this has got to be my favorite thing to come out of this month so far. again, within the last few days, he's really gotten a handle on this one. not only does he lean in to kiss you, he puckers his lips. ohmygaawwwdd. its amazing. the first time he kissed me, i cried. i also cried the second, third, and fourth times. it's just soooooo ridiculously sweet. he kisses stuffed animals. he kisses his dog. he kisses daddy. he even kisses knees! should they find themselves in front of his face. and today, today! he kissed me twice unprompted. just decided it was time, puckered his little lips and leaned in to kiss me. i cried after those too.

so yeah, it's basically heaven over here in month 9.

10, you've got some big shoes to fill. though something tells me it's gonna get even better.

my name is vicki and i'm addicted to my baby.
what.




p.s. i'm french numbering because my mom just returned from her paris trip and got me all worked up on how i need to learn french for no good reason. and also, i can't stop watching these. particularly, the french ones. i say french like fraaainch, just so ya know.

also.

bob, like eh, bob dylan.
oh, bawb.
oui, baaaaawb.


June 19, 2013

on breastfeeding

we're big boob people around here. 

this wasn't always the case as my husband is a bonafide legs and ass guy, and i have been longing for a boob reduction since i realized that having large breastses just makes you look fat. also, to not have to wear a bra sounds like my kind of heaven. cue james lipton: should heaven exist, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates? 

"vicki, take off your bra."

but ever since they cut a little baby boy out of my lower abdomen, boobs have become super duper special and important. they are fun to suck on, to grab on, to lick on, to pinch on, to bite on (ouch!), to stare on, to jam into your mouth rather forcibly...on. and lately, they are even fun to cuddle and snuggle on. to which, i will really never tire of. if boobs are for baby snuggles, then i am a converted boob guy. 

even so, i have been decidedly wishy-washy on how i've felt about all this boob attention since the beginning and still here at 9 months, i can't make up my mind. do i love it? do i hate it? do i want to stop soon? continue forever? 

when we first started, it was, in a word, odd. these breasts that previously were only really enjoyed in the bedroom, and maybe the occasional bathroom or kitchen...were now being fully utilized by a little wee human. not a big man human. and it wasn't fun and tingly. it was awkward and painful. but it was also amazing and crazy and fulfilling and just, wow. 

so after surviving the first month with a case of lanolin and a lot of tears, i swore that three months would be my limit. i'd do it for a few more months to get his little body going and then i'd give it up and buy stock in infant formula. and then, i just kept going. for no particular reason, well, no wait, i'm lying.  it was mainly for convenience sake because it is so incredibly convenient, that nursing. free food on the go, anywhere! guaranteed baby whisperers, these boobs. and there is no denying that comes in handy all the time. 

so yes, i kept going because it was convenient but maybe also because i was starting to like it? i say this because when 5 months came around, i was officially hooked. i was like, "oh yeah, i'm doing this forever...or at least until he's a year old." and then, he got teeth. he bit me for the first time around 7 months. it happened twice that month and that, combined with some mild sleep regression (probably due to teething) made me change my tune and start thinking about weaning. we started giving him a lot more formula bottles during the day and even some at night before bedtime. 

looking back, i think this was to our benefit regardless of nursing decisions. it was then that he started falling asleep on his own - no boob or bottle necessary. and my body adjusted enough that i'm never really engorged anymore which, obvi, is much more comfortable. 

turns out though, that biting wasn't his bag because he didn't do it again and then i got over it and here we are, still nursing at 9 months and wouldn't you know it, i love it more than ever. i'm pretty sure i've cried watching him nurse at least twice this week. so either i'm pregnant (ha!) or i'm just finally realizing how beautiful and marvelous our bond is. i play with his hair, i sing him a song, i shush him and watch as his eyes close and he relaxes. he touches my face or grabs my chest and it's all fabulous. 

fabulous and dreamy. 

so dreamy that i'm not making any decisions about how long we'll keep this up. because like any good dream, i don't want it to end but waking up to a new day is lovely and exciting. so until a change comes, we'll both just keep on dreaming together and i'm totally ok with that. 

for now. 


June 14, 2013

6/7/8/9








in order, from top to bottom, photos of my bunny boo from 6 months to his current 9.

9!!! 

there has been mucho growing around here lately. so much of it that it's not been my first priority to blog because i'm just struggling to keep up and understand it all. but i'm feeling as though maybe i've neglected my inner voice, my inner thoughts and ramblings about all this growing by not blogging it. i have THE WORST memory in all the land. having a growing baby that changes each and every day makes that memory even worse, if that's possible. 

all this to say that i must start blogging it because river's baby book is mostly blank and jeezus knows i don't journal. this here is my memoir, my messy, spotty memoir. so fill it, i must.

six.
there was definitely rolling over. there was sitting up almost to the point of not worrying about him falling back and slamming his head on the floor. ouch. there was lots of four legged scootin'.

seven.
crawling happened. not just backwards as it started but forwards as well. it was still pretty slow and calculated. teeth! two. on the bottom. teething is not our favorite thing around here. we didn't really know what hit us until the teeth were just magically there one day and river was happy again. yowza. pulling up on things. things = furniture, legs, open drawers, laundry baskets, bathtubs, toilets, and so on.

eight.
fast crawling. like, super fast. like so fast that i turn around to pour my coffee and he's in the other room grabbing breakable items that i forgot to stash up high the night before. i reheat my coffee a lot. and then in the last few days before he was officially 9 months, he took his first steps! and then i had a heart attack so bad that i had to leave the room and take a long, hot shower. and even in the shower, i was short of breath a little because i just didn't see that one coming. so soon, bunny buns.

nine.
we're in nine right now. (well, technically it's 10, no?) it's gotta be my favorite month. six months is a clooooose second though. he talks allllll the time. my favorite is when he first wakes up, i mean, literally, in the first seconds that he's awake, he's talking. loud.

dap, daahp, dohp, daaaa, daaaaa.
then, he face plants back onto my chest. sometimes it's my face like this morning when i swoooore he cracked my cheek bone. i might have cried a little while he crawled over me to get to the window to watch the birds in the yard.

still getting the hang of walking. he only does it when he wants, on his own terms. if he's in no walking mood, he'll just curl his little legs up in the air, refusing to put his feet down. but when he wants to, oh man, he loves it. flapping his arms, wide mouthed, wide eyed and intentionally setting each foot down with a plop as he moves across the room and then blam, he's down. he's becoming quite the champion faller.

oh! and today! he started giving kisses. but only to stuffed animals and daddy. and only if he has not been asked to. do not ask or no kiss will come. it's best to just sit there still faced, maybe with eyes closed and then it might happen. but it will definitely not happen if mommy has a camera out. no, no, no.

so, yes, that's where we are. walking, talking, laughing, kissing. sometimes waving - but only to himself. as in, he'll wave back to you but his hand is facing up, so he can see his fingers move in and out.

i recently replaced the mirror in the car so he could see himself. and so i could see himself. and it's been amaaazing for car rides. he makes faces at himself, talks to himself, grabs his cheeks in a very home alone type way and then laughs at what he's done. and he falls asleep a lot more often. this is definitely the month that he started growing up. he's so much more boy than baby right now.

four teeth with two more up top coming thru slowly.

and cuddly. he's sooo cuddly.

should i go on?
because i could, i really, really could.

April 26, 2013

I'D FOLLOW YOU ANYWHERE, CAN

every morning, before i start making coffee, i set up river's play area in the living room. i lay out some pillows and a blanket, and choose a few toys that i think he might enjoy. sometimes he likes them and plays independently for a while, sometimes he just follows me to the coffee maker and wants to be held or entertained.

today, though, i did something different. 

i laid out a blanket and then i pulled his toy basket to the living room and took nothing out myself. i let him choose the toys he wanted to play with on his own. i also set up a pile of books, that i usually keep organized for reading time, and gave him access to those as well. 

and all morning, he's been going back and forth between his toy basket and books, playing/eating with each one as he chooses. it's pretty incredible. 

i'd have to say that's the best part of this stage right now. his new mobility and independence is so fun to watch. he'll sit on the floor, look around, maybe scream a little, and then he'll decide which way to go. and when he gets there, he is so happy and proud. and then he's off to explore some other part of the room. 

he'll always end up back at my feet. pulling himself up on my legs until he's standing and patting me so that i'll pick him up. 

i'm glad i'm still the best toy in the house.








always, with one sock on and one sock off.