October 14, 2014

SO GOOD

sometimes, you just need a little pick me up, a little bounce back to a younger, simpler time. and for me, at this moment, a few songs from the 80s classic Teen Witch are doing it just right. 

please, let them do it for you too. 





his crop top, though. 

September 5, 2014

BABY BOY NAMES I'M ENTIRELY OBSESSED WITH

flashback with a teeny tiny river

Did you have trouble choosing your kid's names?

We had a helluva time with our second dude. August was one of the front runners from the beginning but it didn't feel right until we had gone through and sorta, mostly, eliminated all the other options. And while I think it's a great name and am happy we chose it, I still have days when I wonder if it's the right name for him.

Will he like it later? Will he use his full name or a nickname? Augie? Gus?

As he grows older and we all get to know each other better, his name will undoubtedly become his. It will feel right and we'll easily fall into giving and calling him nicknames but in the meantime, can I just obsess over other names that I would have liked to try out?

Awesome.

1. Theo. I am 100 percent in love with this name right now. It was actually our second place name - as in, we were at the hospital still discussing the possibility of writing down Theodore on his birth certificate. I love Theo or even Teddy as a nickname and Theodore is just so cute. Hank didn't want anyone calling him Teddy so it lost the battle. But oh, Teddy. It's the cutest, in my opinion. Chipmunk, president, whatever, I still love it and if a big bad pregnancy accident ever happened and another boy appeared, it'd be on my list for sure. Brace yourself, Hanklin.

2. Phoenix. Ok, so for obvious reasons, I couldn't name my second kid Phoenix. And if you're really young or really old, I'll explain. River Phoenix was a famous actor. I am already asked quite often if I loved him so much that I named my first son after him. The answer is no. I only remember him from Stand by Me and was way too young to think he was hot but looking back now, yes, he was super hot. Even in that movie as a kid. HA! So yeah, no. I wasn't going to go all actor obsessive fan copycat and use his full name on two kids. But it's a rad name and will maybe get an imaginary pet and name it Phoenix...maybe I'll even call it Phee for short.

3. Lennon. For a girl or boy, I would have used this. I asked Hank multiple times if he was sure he didn't like it. I'd always slip it into my long lists of name ideas. He never once considered it. Wah. Lennon, Lenny, Len, Nonnie. So many options!!!

- time out! i'm watching SATC and i just have to say, i HATE the petrovsky relationship. it kills me to my core and i can't enjoy most of these episodes. ugh. ok, that's all. time in! -

4. Holden. Always and forever. Holden is my boy, my good ol' boy and I have wanted to name my child after him since I can remember. Holden Henry too, right?! Except, I dunno. It felt a little too something. Snobby? Up tight? And what would his nickname be? Hold. No. So, anyway, my teenage self died a little when I didn't pick this name. Sad face.

5. Dylan, Jude, Hendrix. Ah, the music names. Still, I want all of them!! Dilly bar. Juju. Henny Penny Poo. I love you boys so, so much.

6. Beau. This name is my jam bam. This one was slipped into discussion for the entire 9 months of pregnancy. Unfortunately, there is a strong association with some kid Hank grew up with and I guess he wasn't the coolest? No clue but dangit all to hell. Beau, I'll miss you. You're Beau tiful.

I'm not going to touch on girl names that I'll never get to use but just know there are about 400 of them.

*edit: in other news, proofreading this post is making me want another child immediately. quick, somebody come take my uterus before i lose my mind! 

xo

August 20, 2014

A BIRTH STORY - SECOND C-SECTION

on friday, at 530am, my alarm went off and i slowly moved to hit snooze, though i had already started stirring 10 minutes before. i laid back down on the bed, glanced over at my sleeping husband and toddler, and then opened up my phone and started scrolling through instagram and facebook. i do this every morning because i'm an addict. i quickly see that not much has been posted between the last time i checked around 1am. i close my eyes again and start going over the list of items i'll need for the next few days.

my bag has been packed since wednesday, though not entirely. i've slowly been adding items i think i'll want while we're in the hospital for the weekend. my robe, the same one i wore during my last hospital stay. my floral hospital gown, the one i got at christmas for this very event. nursing bras, tank tops, a tiny newborn outfit, a tiny newborn hat.

in a few hours from now, we'll be a family of four. we've been marking each day this week as our last day as us - our last weekend as three, our last monday, tuesday, and so on. and this morning is our last morning. the last before we know what our new guy looks like, the last before all of our attention is given only to river. i cry a little and reach over to pull him closer to me before i slip away to go take a shower.

family of 3 - just 14 days before birth day. 

at 630, my mom arrives. riv is up by now because he's a light sleeper and we've been moving all around the room, getting the last of our things ready. he runs to the door saying, "hi gigi! how ya doin' gigi?" they play together while we load the bags and bucket seat into the car.

my phone goes off with a few texts from some girlfriends of mine. well wishes. i start to cry now. the reality of what's happening and their kindness and of course, the goodbye i've been anxious about for days. all of it is overwhelming.

i reach down to pick up river and give him a hug and a kiss. i say that we'll see him later that day and that i love him so, so much. i smile a big smile to distract him from my tears. he says, "see ya soon, mama." we get in the car and i'm still crying as we drive down our street.

we arrive at the hospital at 7am. we check in and sit in the waiting room for a bit while. we read an old children's book about a little native american boy who learns to hunt for animals. we both comment on how violent it seems for a children's book, and that we're probably raising a bunch of softies these days so what do we know.

our lovely nurse arrives and takes us back to our room. i'm given the standard hospital gown and an IV. we meet another nurse and the anesthesiologist and then my doctor comes in to say hello before we see her again in the OR. it's a fair amount of waiting after that, 2 hours or so. we talk and laugh and marvel at how calm and quiet it all is. we take some photos, post an update to social media, and continue to wait.



when it's finally time, we all walk together toward the operating room. brian is given his scrubs and is told to wait in the recovery area while i'm taken in. i kiss him and head off with the OR nurse.

the room is freezing. it's super bright and white and huge. i jump up on the bed, sit down and hunch over so that they can give me my spinal. it takes a few tries before my legs go numb and i'm quickly maneuvered onto the bed flat. they put a blue sheet up in front of me and start talking a lot of hospital talk, operating talk, c-section talk. i'm warm now because i'm completely numb and because they've given me a blanket for my chest - at least i think they did. i close my eyes and take deep breaths. i want to stay calm and happy.

the anesthesiologist asks me if i feel anything. i say no and he replies, "great, because they've already started."

brian is whisked in and comes to sit right by my side. we kiss. he seems excited, nervous, relieved. i'm glad he's there but i'm still in my own world, taking deep breaths and focusing on the oxygen i'm getting. it's like a lifeline to me.

everything goes pretty quickly and before i know it, i hear those first baby cries. i'm so happy to hear them. they get him cleaned and wrapped up and bring him over to us. i kiss him, a nurse takes a photo of the three of us and then brian heads out with baby and nurses to the nursery while they close me back up.



this part took foreverrrrr. i'm pretty sure i fell asleep a few times. i was so relaxed and tired and emotional. plus, it's pretty boring. i would have liked an ipod or book-on-tape for entertainment. not that sleep isn't valuable, though, right?

when they finally finish, i am wheeled into recovery. brian is there, so happy to see me. he's seriously the cutest ever. the baby is still in the nursery because his blood sugar was low. they tell me it's pretty common with larger babies to which i immediately reply, "wait, how big was he??" 9.3 lb. i still, today, cannot believe i had a nine pound child in my belly. no wonder i got stretch marks this time! yes, i did. and yes, i'm still recovering from that shock too. it's the saddest.

anyway. while baby was working on his sugar levels, i threw up a few times, slept for a minute or two, and got a dose of norco. i was feeling a-ok when they brought him in finally. i just held him and cried happy tears.




hank (brian) and i said over and over to each other how easy this birth was, how calm and relaxed and nice it was. obviously, surgery is not the ideal. it's not exciting to know you're being sliced open and willingly! but even with that reality, it was such a great experience for us. it was a hard decision to make - especially these days, when natural birth is so en vogue - but i am so happy i made it.

august rhodes henry
born july 18, 2014
10:20am



we love you to pieces, baby boy.
welcome to the family.

xo

July 22, 2014

the boobs and the babe

say you have a second baby and you think that since you just stopped nursing your first babe 4 months ago, that your boobies will be ready and happy to take on a new client. but then, instead of a celebratory receiving, your boobs are sad and angry and screaming and cracking and bleeding and crying. 

then, you'll be sad. 

maybe it's because your boobs quickly forgot how to do the dew. perhaps it's because new baby is a super large and strong lad who drinks with a fury that your boobies had not known before. even still, maybe it's just a part of the process that you completely forgot about, that you knew would be difficult but not ever this difficult. 

what do you do? 

you probably ask your husband at 3am to go make a bottle of formula because you. just. can't. you probably cry a lot and curl your toes and tap your feet and tighten all the muscles in your body. you hold your breath. you squeeze the shit out of your boobs to try and distract yourself from the piercing pain of the milk monster baby. you try your best to stuff the entire breast in his mouth because that's what you should do but somehow, it's never enough. 

you will pump more. you will embrace the pump more than you ever did the first time. 

but. 

you will also hope that this is just one stop on the nursing train because things will get better as they almost always do. you imagine that soon enough, your little lady lumps will toughen up and show that baby they're up for the job. 

because you are one strong mama. you've done this before and you'll do it again. 


that's what you'll do.

July 14, 2014

DIY - Maternity Photos at 38 Weeks

hello!

being a champion procrastinator, less than mediocre planner and inexplicably reluctant photo shoot purchaser, i decided to take my own maternity photos on saturday. after digging around for my camera battery and tripod - items i haven't used in months, sadly - i set it up and just went for it. i didn't think about my wardrobe or river's. you'll notice he's wearing his weekend shorts and nothing else. i'm wearing a tank i slept in the night before. i did, however, throw on a long, semi-sheer skirt, hoping to catch some of the light and to create some semblance of motherly femininity.

i think in the end, i was able to capture a few special moments. though i hope you can appreciate that even when i look serene, i just ran over from the tripod, trying not to get my skirt caught on odds and ends, trying not to trip, and getting into just the right spot before all of 10 seconds is up and the camera goes off. and at 38 weeks, i'm not graceful.

so, put that in your pocket and enjoy!










that last family shot is a bit of a miracle. we're all looking and mostly smiling and centered and not falling off the hammock. which is what i said to hank as i sat down and just before the camera went off, "hurry, quick, put him on your lap, i'm sliding off this fucking thing!" 

i'm the sweetest. 

so there you have it. you too, can take your own maternity photos at home, in an hour or so. with a tripod and photoshop, you're fully equipped! ya know, if you have really low standards for this kind of silly stuff, like i do. 

xo


February 28, 2014

CRIME HATH PLAGUED OUR HOME

when your day begins with a mysteriously open trunk and a missing $300 BOB stroller, you lose a little bit of faith in humanity. And perhaps you didn't have much to begin with or maybe you did. If it's the latter, then you're in luck because all you need is a renewed commitment to locking your car doors each night and a few lovely encounters with pleasant and kind strangers during another aimless trip to target. a starbucks in your hand can only improve your chances of a brighter day and all of this with an 18 month old, talkative, lovable, little boy, well, it can do wonders for the soul. it'll cheer you right up, restore a bit of that faith, that hope that not everyone is horrible and selfish and thoughtless.

so, to the thieves who came in the night, got lucky with an unlocked car in its own private driveway, i applaud your daring efforts, your baby gear savvy, and the generosity of leaving behind the ergo, my jacket, and the 3/4 empty pack of boogie wipes.

also, fuck you.

February 27, 2014

SOMETIMES...

i stay up really late paying bills and doing other randomness. i will usually get very hungry at some point, probably around 11pm. so then i will eat some chocolate, which will make me want a tuna sandwich. and then some popcorn. lots of water will follow and then i'll close my laptop and go to bed happy.

confessions of a pregnant lady.

xo

February 16, 2014

KETCHUP

we moved to this house in a bit of a whirlwind. we closed escrow in about 20 days, found that most of our old furniture just didn't fit - we have a garage FULL of furniture, need any?? - and even though i didn't know it at the time, i was already pregnant with baby 2.

it all seemed really overwhelming to me. add in the holiday madness and just call me a useless, crabby, unmotivated, possibly depressed person.

until i realized that i wasn't dying and was in fact, pregnant, after only one period since getting knocked up with the rivster, i was kind of a sad mac. grouchy, crying, sickly, tired exhausted. all the usual early pregnancy indicators, ya know. but i never even thought! silliness, i say.

so yeah, one strong line and one faint line later i was like...woah! that totally makes sense now!

i'm smart. did you know this about me?

now that i am in the 5th month, i'm finally starting to feel like this is real again. i've even been feeling some mild movement from my new cellmate.

hello little jumpy bean! hope it's super fun in there. i've been eating enough sweets to ensure you have an addiction later in life. i do apologize but ya know, cravings are just demanding. don't watch commercials when you grow up because they are entirely convincing and compelling and before you know it, you're in the car heading to another fast food joint to try their latest dollar burger. it's. madness. 

or beef jerky from target. you'll want that too after watching diners, drive-ins, and dives - so maybe skip that show too. 

pearls of wisdom, little one. take notes. 

i'm right though, right? commercials were definitely intended for children and pregnant women. our impulse control is weak, weak, weak.

today, i drove to where i thought daphnes was because i neeeeeeded a gyro for lunch. but when i got there, it was not daphnes, it was rubios. i cried in my car and then called hank to let him know that he won the lunch race and we were getting jersey mike's instead because i was too starving to drive across town to where yelp told me daphnes actually was. it sorta ruined my sunday.

luckily, the original italian sub, hot off the grill is kinda bomb from jersey mike's so there ya go - the silver lining.

i'm such an optimist.

love you guys - if you're still out there. also, if you can't tell i wrote this in two parts so it feels a little disjointed but i can't fix that at midnight. my apologies. also! we sold a shit ton of shit this weekend on craigslist, i mean, killlllled it on craigslist. this means our garage is nice and clean and emptier.

ahh, the solace.

xo

February 3, 2014

5/52



river: standard saturday morning wear, i'd say. rain boots for tromping through the wet morning grass in the backyard, warm sweats from the night before, and the first sweater i can find before he's running past me to the outside chill. he's a rascal, full of energy. here, he's talking to his dad up in the attic, basically asking if he can climb the ladder again. the answer is always: no, no, no, no. 

baby: hey, look! another photo in my pajamas. lucky you! .... 15 weeks. had an appt today, measuring right on schedule. feeling pretty good lately, no sickness and energy is back up. second trimester, you get me. 



January 27, 2014

4/52



River: we went to the zoo last thursday and met up with our friends donna and addison. river adored the petting zoo and had many a conversation with the black goat there. 

Baby: 14 weeks along and growing bigger in all bodily areas imaginable. too early to enter the sweats phase?? 

January 20, 2014

3/52




river: running through the park to go back and forth between his crackers and juice aka "cockahrs" and "shooosh" and the ducks. basically, the time of his life. 

baby: yes, that's right! there's a baby in there. a 13 week old jumping and twirling jelly bean. we're pretty excited about it! 





January 13, 2014

2/52


this week river broke his finger and needed 4 stitches to sew it back together. he stuck his hand in a spinning bike wheel and got it caught in the disc brake. ouch! 

whenever i'm away from home without him, i worry that i might get a call saying he's on his way to the emergency room. and then, on saturday, it happened. thank goodness it was just a finger injury and he still looked like this after lots of blood, bruising and stitching up. 

he's as tough as they come, this kid. 

1/52


He's been "taking photos" of me lately. I think he mostly loves the clicking sound it makes but it's still cute.
Also, pajamas all day.