Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Ever since Penelope was born, JD has put Beatrice to bed while I put Penelope down. This worked out great for everyone until right around the first of the year when Beatrice began testing us at bedtime and each night would end with her in tears and him frustrated. He said it was time to trade, he would put Penelope down and I had to resume bedtime with Beatrice.

I did not want this trade. I love end of day snuggles with a tiny body curled in my arms while I steal 182 kisses from her squishy baby cheeks. I love sitting quietly in the dark, rocking my tiny girl for 15 minutes while decompressing from the demands of the day. Also, I like to play Words With Friends uninterrupted. 

Beatrice is a big kid and never wants to cuddle. She wants to read 254 books and play with her stuffed animals for 45 minutes while she asks me questions about why the sun is hot and the moon is cold. Putting Penelope to bed is mindless and relaxing, putting Beatrice to bed is interactive and demanding. Both girls have particular bedtimes needs and I prefer to tend to the needs of the sleepier, quieter child. 

But, JD needed a break from 3 year old bedtime wars so I let him have a trial run at putting Penelope down. "Don't get your feelings hurt if she cries for me to put her down," I told him. "She has never been put to bed by anyone but her mother, she's probably going to flip out when you try." Except she never flipped out. She loved the switch. Every night since the first night we traded she eagerly runs for him to put her to bed. 

They stay in her room for close to an hour each night. I asked him what the heck takes so long and he says they read 150 books, pray, and sing songs until Penelope asks to lay in her bed. It's basically the same routine he did with Beatrice for the past 21 months minus all the attitude and negotiating for more books/water/dolls/etc. 

Poor Beatrice got the raw end of the deal. I'm still a quick, 15 minute get-in-the-bed kind of mom. We read 2 stories tops, play 5 minutes of stuffed animals only when she has displayed excellent obedience during teeth brushing, say prayers, and I'm out. I do smother her with 193 hugs and kisses each night before I go though. I'll never stop doing that. She actually doesn't mind the abbreviated bedtime drill. She needs a lot of structure at this age and my no nonsense approach has left her with fewer tears (and spanks) before bed. 

Every now and then JD and I will swap kids and I'll get to put Penelope down for the night. I'm amazed at how big she has gotten in 4 months. Her once small body that fit so perfectly cradled in the crook of my arm now spills out of my lap. Her legs hang over the arm of the chair and her head is a lot heavier than I remember. She sings along to every lullaby I sing and sometimes makes up her own. She prays too. She also begs and pleads for more stories/songs/dolls/etc. She's a big kid now. Almost.

Honestly, I'm glad JD and I made the switch all those months ago. He has gotten to have so many sweet moments with his itty bitty girl before she got too big for the cradle position in the crook of his arm. Plus, Beatrice really likes the change. It's given us some special alone time we both needed. I love it too. Some of the best things I've heard all day are in those 15 minutes before her light goes out. Although I sometimes wish she'd let me wrap her up like a baby and smooch on her cheeks before she totally grows up. She won't let me, I've asked. 

We all needed a fresh bedtime approach and fresh bedtime approach is what we got! The change has been good for all of us. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cutest Thing I've Ever Seen

When I was gifted with a tiny bathrobe for Beatrice at one of her baby showers, I thought there was nothing cuter than a baby bathrobe. I was right. For awhile, there was nothing cuter than a baby in a bathrobe. Then someone bought her a heather gray button down cardigan around her first birthday and I thought, surely there is nothing cuter than a baby in a cardigan. And there wasn't. But yesterday at Target, I found tiny peplum tops and I declared, "THERE IS NOTHING CUTER THAN LITTLE GIRLS IN TINY PEPLUM TOPS!

Am I right?! I'm sure I'll do this with every cute thing I find until they grow up, but for now, this is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Being the Mom

When I was little, my mom was the most wonderful person in my world. She was pretty and smart, fun and important. She could fix anything and was afraid of nothing. Except snakes. She was my favorite person and I just wanted to be around her. I remember needing to be near her.

Knowing how I felt about my mom when I was a kid, I shouldn't be surprised that my daughters feel the same about me. Beatrice's need to be with me, near me, is palpable. She wants me to see everything she does, tell me everything she thinks, touch every inch of my face and hair, learn everything I'm doing, and know what I think about. She can't get enough of me. It's overwhelming how much she loves me and wants to be with me.

We do a lot together. I'm with her all day, everyday. The only time we're apart is for 2 hours on Tuesdays when I lead a Bible study and on the weekends at church. Lately, my confident, independent girl has been totally freaking out when I leave her. She gets hysterical. I ask her why she's upset and she says, "I never want to be away from you. I never want you to leave me. I need to be with you." She sobs and latches onto me like a baby monkey. She is wrecked.

I simultaneously love and hate this. I love being the mom, the needed one for my little ones. But I hate the freak outs and the meltdowns when I have to do my stuff. I try to nurture and reassure her I will be back, but knowing that her world feels like it's ending when I'm not there is tough. It makes me a bit uncomfortable to know that someone loves me like that, that my existence makes her whole world go round.

Thankfully, I feel the same about her. We get through it together.

Every single day I learn more about how to be these girls' mom. Lately I'm learning that being the mom is not always about feeding and bathing and taking care of them. Sometimes being the mom is just being with them.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Beatrice's Hair

We have never cut Beatrice's hair. In all her 1264 days, it has grown into long, flaxen strands of silk. It is beautiful and wild.

She lets me fix it every day; she prefers 2 french braids. I like high ponies and single french braids. It always ends up undone, spilling waves well past her shoulders and in her face.

She loves it long. I do too. She hates brushing the tangles out. I do too. She wants to keep growing it out. I do too. 

I wonder how long it will get!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Second Best

I only wanted 1 thing for my birthday this year: a lemon tree. Lemons are my favorite food item, my favorite flavor, and my favorite scent. And my favorite color. Having my own tree would be both practical and luxurious. I need a lemon tree.

There are lemon trees in every other yard in southern California. They boast their gorgeous fruit in heavy clusters on droopy branches that hang low over fences practically begging passersby to pick them. I never do because I would be pretty upset if lemons were plucked off my tree by random people, but I envy those folks and their bounty of lemons. I just knew JD would get me a tree for my birthday.

He didn't. No one gave me a lemon tree for my birthday. I was pretty bummed, so I thought long and hard on what I really, really wanted if I couldn't have a lemon tree. I came up with this:

A semi-automatic espresso machine.

I did a ton of research before I decided on my Breville 830XL. It's sturdy and makes a mean latte. I love it.

I make at least 1 latte a day, sometimes 2. It has proven to be the best present I have ever given myself.

So if you find yourself wanting a lemon tree but no one will buy you one, an espresso machine is an excellent replacement gift! You will love it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Girls Night Out

There are usually 2 reasons I don't write with frequency on this blog: either there is nothing going on or there is quite a lot going on. This week, quite a lot has been going out. Mainly, the most epic girls night out in the history of the world.

I have only had 1 other girls night out in the 3 1/2 years since becoming a mother. It was at our neighborhood community center and involved a middle aged DJ, lots of hip hop music, and some rad dance moves. It was awesome and hilarious and perfect for a last minute night out with friends. It was great, but not epic.

Last night, 6 of us went to West Hollywood to SUR for the most epic girls night out ever ever ever.

Now, the rest of this story won't be interesting to you if you don't watch the reality show called Vanderpump Rules. If you don't watch, it is a very dramatic, ridiculous show about the gorgeous young staff at SUR trying to make it big in Hollywood. If you do watch the show, you understand how big of a deal it is to go to SUR. I am ga-ga about the show so going there for dinner was almost more than I could handle.

We got there at 5:30 as they were opening and hung out in the lounge for a bit while we waited on the rest of our friends to arrive. It was so opulent and swanky. The bar was tiled with mirrors and glass, there were chandeliers and jewels hanging everywhere, and the velvet furniture was tiny and chic. It was eclectic and modern.

Once our other friends showed up, we walked over to the restaurant side of SUR. It was even more beautiful than the lounge. Fresh flowers and mirrors, crystals and candles, swank and sophistication were all around.

Then our waitresses showed up. This is where watching the show comes in handy. Katie and Kristen both waited on us!

A really stupid thing happens to me around celebrities. I can't breathe, I feel lightheaded, I nervously talk about nonsense. All of those things happened once I realized I was surrounded by people from my favorite show.

I was pretty much incapacitated the rest of the evening. I couldn't focus on anything but the fact that I was living a dream, a reality show dream. It was more than I could handle. Even the bathroom was fabulous.

The food was great, I had a steak with basil butter and roasted brussel sprouts. Our table was awesome, tucked away in a corner beneath a huge chandelier with a great view of the restaurant and the street. The service was great, Katie and Kristen were professional and personable.

After the excitement of dressing up, being in a cool place where a show I love is filmed, and having the cast serve us, we didn't think the night could get anymore awesome. But then it did. We left the restaurant and were standing on the sidewalk outside when we noticed another celeb from another reality show.

Marisa Zanuck from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was smoking a cigarette, minding her own business, when my friend and I charged her like crazed lunatics begging her to take pictures with us. She was nice, but totally freaked out by us. I hugged her, cheek to cheek, while apologizing for touching her like I knew her. My friend dropped her phone on Marisa's foot and shattered her case. It was a mess. But totally amazing and totally worth looking like a stalker just to face-hug a reality star.

I'm still smiling from all of the awesome I experienced last night. I expected to see famous people working at SUR, but seeing more famous people from a different show was too much. I don't know when our next girls night out will be, but I'm pretty sure it will be hard to beat last night's.

Thanks, SUR. You were everything I hoped you would be.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cake In Bed

Earlier today, Beatrice helped me bake a cake. Baking together is one of her favorite things to do. She's meticulous with measuring and stirring, pouring and licking spoons. She's great at it and it's fun for both of us.

I promised her a piece before bed, but after dinner we took a bath, and after bath we read stories, and after stories it was bedtime. I completely forgot to give her cake. She forgot too, for a little while.

About an hour after we put her to bed, JD and I heard her on the monitor asking for cake. Typically, there would be no way I would give my 3 year old a piece of cake at 9:30 at night, but tonight was different. Maybe it was because we had such a good time baking it together or maybe it was because I wanted to honor my promise to let her have some, but I ended up giving my kid cake at 9:30 at night. And it was the best idea I had all day.

She loved it. I tiptoed up to her room with a tiny sliver of cake and half a glass of lemonade and said, "does anybody want dessert?!" She giggled through the whole piece and wanted her daddy to come watch her eat cake in bed. I think she told me she loved me 15 times while she ate her cake. It was the best.

That cake was pretty sweet to begin with, but it was all the sweeter in bed with my girl.