28 February 2010

Spring forward

image from realsimple.com

Ohhh the time change. More light, warmer weather, oh wait, we're in San Francisco - but it does mean more light. And it means its almost spring. And that should just make everyone happy.

But it also means we loose an hour on Sunday March 14th and it usually takes me a week to start feeling normal again. I thinking it will affect the nugget similarly.

So I figured I would share the info that sleep consultant Angelique Millete shared with her clients in her e-newsletter with all of you...maybe there is a tidbit of info that might just make springing forward a little bit easier, on everyone.

from the e-newsletter of Angelique Millete

You can help your baby/toddler by starting to adjust ahead of the time change on Sunday. Starting Tuesday night (March 9th) begin to put baby down 10 minutes earlier for bed. You can do this by comforting, singing or reading, and/or starting the bedtime ritual/routine 10 minutes earlier. Do this for the rest of the week, so when the time change does happen, your baby or toddler will have slowly adjusted to the new time.

If your baby/toddler’s bedtime is 7pm, it will look like this:

Tues. 6:50pm bedtime
Wed. 6:40pm bedtime
Thurs. 6:30pm bedtime
Fri. 6:20pm bedtime
Sat. 6:10pm bedtime
Sun. 7pm bedtime (new time- old time will be 6pm)

Also, if your baby or toddler has been going to bed early (for example 6pm) and waking up early (5am) you can use the time change to help move your baby or toddler's schedule to a little later in the day. Rather than following the proposed early bedtime schedule suggested above, stick to your bedtime on Sunday night (old time of 6pm), which will now be the new time (7pm). If you use this approach to shift the schedule later, keep in mind that you baby or toddler may be a little more tired the first few nights, especially at Sunday night's bedtime.

It takes about a week for baby/toddler to adjust to the new time. Your little one may be a bit cranky, or seem more tired then usual. Stick to your routine, and keep the day time naps the same time. And enjoy the longer days exploring and playing with your little one.

Sleep well everyone.

27 February 2010

Hearing loss

image from esquire.com

I went to my first official preschool open house today.

I was surprised at how many children were there. Not sure why - I mean hello Alex, it is a preschool.

I think what it was that there was in imbalance of visiting families to attending families (whose kids go to the preschool), plus their siblings - so it seemed like utter chaos. Well, maybe controlled chaos. Where there are usually only 12 children there were now 20 something, from 10 months to 6 years.

I lasted an hour. I listened and asked a few questions, met some people. But then, just like that my meter was up - I had to leave. And when I got outside, I realized, it was the noise.

I think this is why we don't give birth to 3 year olds - we need time to loose our hearing.

26 February 2010

Champagne + Cupcakes

In less than a month, the nugget is turning one. And up until a month ago, I was anti-birthday party. Not anti-celebrating this amazing tiny person or his wonderful birth or me for that matter, but anti the over-the-top, really-just-for-the-adults-party that you often get invited to. But then, as the party invitations started to come our way from other little nuggets who are turning one around the same time, I started to think "The nugg should have a party too."

So, we decided on champagne and cupcakes, at the park, with a just a handful of our favorite people, his and ours.

But here's the thing, I don't bake. My mom doesn't bake. I think I made her feel really bad one year about the fact that I never received a box of homemade cookies while I was away at college or a homemade birthday cake for that matter. She must have taken that to heart because for my 21st birthday she appeared with a carrot cake, de la casa, made all by herself. Anyway, I too assumed I would just head to one of the many cupcake bakeries in here in San Francisco, pick out a few and that would be the end of it.

And then, as I was perusing the pages of the new Small, there on the page was this sweetly perfect little cupcake. It is a creation of Cheryl Pooro's whose blog is nothing less than an inspiration to get out the mixing bowls and the measuring cups.

So I am inspired to make the nugget's 1st birthday cupcake. And if all else fails, my brother who is magic in the kitchen will be there to back-me up. I will let you know how it turns out.

25 February 2010

Pressing pause

When life gets too loud or too fast or too much, I am learning to press pause.

My husband left last night for a trip that will last over 14 days - 10 of which he will spend in silence, rising at 4am, sitting in meditation and getting re-acquainted with the sound of the bell that dictated our actions when we did this same retreat together in 2008. This is the longest we have ever been apart - this is the longest he will be away from the nugget.

When we told most people that he was going back to Thailand, most responded with support, though it may have masked their slight scepticism. Others quickly followed with, "Well when do you get to go?" And it made me smile - that they wanted things to be fair - for me to have the chance and the time to re-set, re-charge, re-center. And with all sincerity, I replied that my turn would come and I believe that with every bone in my body.

What I often didn't say is that my husband's time in silence, without his computer, without the news, without his IPhone - directly impacts the "we" and the "us". It can't not. So yes, he is doing the work right now, but we are a unit, and what deeply affects one of us, affects us all.

So, yes he is on retreat and I am home, with an 11 month old baby. But somehow, I too feel as though I am on a different kind of retreat - that even here at home, with dishes and recycling to carry out and laundry to fold and a baby to put to sleep, I too can re-set, re-charge and re-center.

This time alone, for me, right now, is me pressing pause.

24 February 2010

Simply Small

I am embracing the world of technology. The new SMALL online magazine is out - click here and though I miss the feel of getting delightful magazines in the mailbox, I am starting to appreciate this form of publication. It's about design and kids and families and beautiful things and well chosen products and creativity and art and beauty and play. Does that give you an idea about its contents?

I just wish I had a space like this to cuddle up in and flip through the electronic pages.

23 February 2010

Mom 2.0

Sometimes someone says it better than you ever could.

Sometimes someone reminds you that you are doing the most important job in the whole entire universe.

Sometimes someone reminds you why you pick up the toys 5 times a day or let them by messy or let them sleep in the middle.

Sometimes someone reminds you of all the things your mom did for you, that you can't even remember.

Sometimes you get a message in your inbox, with exactly the right message at exactly the right time.

Thank you Alex for sharing this with me.

18 February 2010

Crushers anyone?

Here is why new moms need to spend time with seasoned moms: because you learn ALL kinds of tips and secrets and juicy details.

Our newest juicy detail: Crushers from Trader Joes. The to-go pouch of apple or apple/carrot sauce that is now a huge hit. In case you are saying, "I have never seen those at Trader Joes", you are alone. I was convinced our city TJ's did not have them. And then I looked where the applesauce was - and there they were.

So for now, there are back-up pouches in the car and one in my purse. And yes, he can already hold them by himself - and as you can see, it is a divine mess.


It's official - the nugget is now a citizen of Germany.

Signed and completed, his application for a German passport was completed today at the Consulate General in San Francisco and in 4-6 weeks it will be ready for pick up.

He has no idea how lucky he is.

17 February 2010

At Recess, playing. In the coolest school bus around.

Do something

Take away from the infant CPR class we just took: Do something, it's better than nothing. And if you start, don't stop.

Though it certainly wasn't necessary for the class to be three hours long, it was certainly worth the time spent to leave felling confident that I could perform CPR if needed and that I will be able to handle the moment when the nugget starts to choke on whatever little thing he his secretly and stealthily gotten into his mouth. I am grateful that with little need for persuasion my husband joined and we left together, feeling mostly prepared.

So besides learning that it is better to do something than nothing at all and liking the idea to keep littlenuggets out of the kitchen when someone is cooking, we learned one EXTREMELY interesting and potentially life saving fact: in California, 911 calls made on a cell phone are forwarded to the CHP (California Highway Patrol). Funny, you should ask, why on earth is that?

Well, what we learned is that 911 is basically the first ever forwarding service - you call and it then directs you to the appropriate emergency dispatch center based on your location. From a landline, this is easy and your address is immediately available to the dispatch operator. However, your cell phone is a whole new ball of wax. And since early in the days of the cell phone, most 911 calls were coming from motorists on the highway, a decision was made to route the calls to the CHP - as they would be able to respond the fastest. Well, it seems we are a bit slow in upgrading our technologies - 911 calls made from a cell phone, still go to the CHP.

This is why, you may be on hold or even get a busy signal if you try to call 911. Can you imagine, your child is not breathing and you get a busy signal?

So here is what you do:
1. Keep your landline.
2. Program your local dispatch # into your cell phone. The one exemption to this is vortex's like UCSF, the Presidio and SF City College have their own emergency dispatch, so if you spend a lot of time in these areas, add their dispatch numbers as well. So if you live in San Francisco, get out your cell phone and ADD:

EMERGENCY 415-553-8090
NON-EMERGENCY 415-553-0123

Make sure to give these numbers to anyone taking care of your baby and to add them to the emergency contact list on your refrigerator.

This little step is doing something, and at the end of the day, that may just be enough.

15 February 2010

Meant to be

I don't like chain letters. And I don't like chain emails. But today, I received this in my inbox, and somehow I couldn't simply click delete without savoring every little morsel. And instead of forwarding it on to 7 other women, I am simply going to forward it to you...

May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are.

I needed these words today. I will probably need these words again tomorrow, because there is no other way to deal with a cranky, runny-nosed, needy and totally-now-walking almost 11 month old tornado. A little tornado who managed to get to the kitchen, open "his" cupboard, get out an apple sauce snack, walk over to me and look at me as if I was taking way too slow to open it. What he didn't understand was that I was having one of those "oh @&^*" moments - the one where reality jolts you back into the present moment. The present moment where my not so little tiny baby actually intentionally brought me something to open. Then he just plopped down on the floor, right in front of the cold fridge door and began to blissfully savor every bite.

So, again, he reminded me that we are both exactly where we are meant to be.


Here is the thing, you just have to love a Japanese dollar store.

Actually it is a "most things are $1.50" and I always seem to find the goodies for $5.00 but I still love it. I love it because the Japanese get the pretty and practical rule: things you use in ordinary life don't have to look ordinary.

All this stuff for the nugget - baby spoons, a toy sack for his toys on the go, a toy bin - and it all has an interesting and different aesthetic. And I spent about $20.

Interested? It is absolutely worth a visit. Just give yourself time, you will be amazed at how much there is to look at.
Click on Daiso for more information

14 February 2010


Some days it is hard to see the importance of cleaning up the blocks for the tenth time or kneeling on the kitchen tile cleaning up Puffs, leaking blueberries and smashed up string cheese for the fifth time, but then the mailman brings my copy of Seeing the Everyday and I open it up and I read this:

"The home is the place where our names are first uttered with love and therefore where we first discover that we mean something. It is the site where both human beings and human values first make their appearance in the world. It is the center from which we define and understand the nature of everything we encounter in the world." (by David Patterson)

This is why every choice we make matters. This is why I am home.

I heart these...

cozy from knitty vet

knitted egg from weaver bird designs

hug and kiss your valentine

happy valentine's day


13 February 2010

Another Saturday night

It's Saturday night.

I think there are dishes in the sink. And there might be some bills to pay. But my baby is asleep and my husband is out and I am rocking out to the songs streaming through Pandora on The Innocence Mission station I created. And I am eating a Yokids Squeezer because I am not sure what made me think a 10 1/2 month old could eat yogurt out of a squeezable tube, so I will just have to eat it myself.

This right here, this might just be heaven.

12 February 2010

Pressing play

So its not the same - to do a 10 silent retreat without being silent, without leaving home, while mothering a 10 month old and trying to feed us all and keep the house from falling into total chaos. But there was a peace, a calmness that I experienced last week that made me realize that in all my mindless doing, I had forgotten that I have the ability to create inner calmness, almost all the time. I realized that in all the "yes" saying and overbooking of my calendar, I had forgotten that I could just play on the floor and find interest in building up the tower of blocks one more time. I realized that if I said no just a few more times, or least started with maybe, I could potentially feel like I was riding the waves instead of feeling the half-panicked sensation of treading water in between tumultuous, 20 foot waves.

And then, in an instant, I forgot it all. I overbooked, over promised and overdid. Here it is Friday night, I am more exhausted than ever, my lower back is screaming out in intermittent pain from picking up a needy, teething, runny nosed, I-never-want-to-get-my-diaper-changed again, darling and intoxicating little man, I am missing the opening ceremony of the Olympics because at some point we decided not to have a TV (which most of the time suits me just fine) and there is nothing sweet in the house for me to eat.

So in my mini hiatus from the world I remembered my priorities...and it is simple: to do whatever it takes to be peaceful for me and useful for them.

06 February 2010

First toothbrush

So it's the wrong end. We'll work on the actual brushing part later.