Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Looking back over the past year, it's pretty incredible to see how much has changed in our lives: we left Belgium (we still miss it daily), landed in Toronto, bounced around between the grandparents' homes for a couple months, and finally settled down in LA. We spent many hours at the beach, many hours eating fish tacos, many hours at the park. We caught up with old friends and made new ones. Our sweet little baby turned one, started walking, and developed an attitude that can rival most 16 year old girls

We're so thankful to have had the love and support of our family and friends throughout the year (especially during those rocky months last spring when we didn't know what the heck we were doing with our lives)... And we're so glad to share our adventures (even the mundane day-to-day ones) with you here. 

We'll drink a glass of bubbly and cheers to YOU tonight... and then go to bed at 9pm :) 

Happy New Year! xo

Monday, December 30, 2013

Weekend Bits

Ina made a new BFF this weekend: Hank the Dog.

She also went to the Farmer's Market with her boyfriend, played at the playground on the beach, stayed home with Didz while mama drank margaritas with her lady-friends, had her first taste of ice cream, and rode a horsey...

It was a good weekend. I hope yours was just as fun!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas in Palm Springs

I grew up in California, but for the past 6 years I've lived in places where winters are long and cold. My self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder would kick in, and I'd be cold and grumpy for months. Didz would tell me to toughen up, I'd tell him to go suck an egg. We'd bicker on and on like this. He'd try to convince me to embrace the winter - white fluffy snow! hot chocolate! bundling up! - and I'd translate that to mean: nasty, slushy, slippery sidewalks! scalding hot liquid burning my tongue! wearing a million layers to go outside, but then sweating profusely indoors where the heat was blasting to a gajillion degrees!

This year, we decided to skip the holiday travel, the snowy cityscapes, the ice storms and power outages, the flight delays and long lines... and enjoy wearing flip flops and t-shirts for Christmas. We made a spontaneous, last minute decision to drive to Palm Springs and spend a few days here:

We missed our families, and wished we could've all been together... but our little gettaway was warm and wonderful and I think Didz is coming around to understanding how magical living in California really is.

We splashed around in the pool, we ran around on the grass, we woke up all our neighbors with early morning bocce, we ate tacos and drank beer, we chased Ina around the lobby (we spent HOURS in that lobby) and we opened Christmas presents (who knew a pair of mittens could bring SO MUCH JOY) and played in our room until we were all completely exhausted.

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Sending lots of hugs and sunshine to you all... and BIG BIG LOVE to our good buddy TK and his darling girl, Vija, who got engaged yesterday. Love you guys! xo

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ina's Hideout

The other evening we jumped the gun on Christmas a little bit and let Ina open one of her gifts (and by that I mean, Didz and I have no self-control and we wanted to play with it, so we opened it and assembled it for her)...

It's awesome. 

Yesterday was a gray, rainy day, so we brought some blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and books and spent the entire morning hiding out. I have a feeling we'll be spending a large portion of our weekend in there, too.

Thank you, Santa!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend Bits

Saturday was Mama's Day Out. Didz kicked me out of the house and took the bug for the whole day. It was wonderful and relaxing and I'm so grateful to him for giving me the day to go play with my darling friend Allyson. We brunched at The Black Cat and then spent the afternoon browsing and buying and meeting wonderful and inspirational people at the Echo Park Craft Fair. (There was also an incident involving me nearly shoplifting a ring that I tried on and walked away with... I was halfway across the room when I realized I was still wearing it. I was mortified and apologized a million times when I brought it back... Didz told me he wouldn't have been so quick to bail me out of jail, and would've left me in there for a day or two to think about what I'd done. Thanks for the love and support, husband.)

Sunday morning was straight out of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and nothing was going my way. It was just one of those days, and when I didn't think it could get any worse, I burned my thumb on a hot cookie sheet. I cried, and then laughed, and then hugged Didz and told him I'm moving to Australia. Luckily, I was able to shake myself off, and we all had a fantastic afternoon and evening, wounded thumb and all. A gingerbread house making party, followed by an evening at a BAR (!!!) without the BABY (!!!) listening to some of my favorite people perform.

We'll be spending this week enjoying this glorious weather (I'm in shorts and a t-shirt today), and going to the park, and wrapping presents and taking lots of naps.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Bits

This post could more appropriately be titled "Adventures in Sleep Training"... because that's what our weekend consisted of. Ina's been a champion sleeper since the early days - to the point where I'd feel bad admitting that she sleeps through the night to other parents I'd talk to who were getting up multiple times every night for months and months on end.


She relied on us to fall asleep. We'd walk with her and bounce her and "shhh" her and sing to her... some nights she'd fall asleep quickly, other nights we'd be bouncing and "shhh"-ing for up to an hour. But she's getting big, and heavy, and would squirm in our arms trying to get comfortable and it was getting hard putting her down. We knew it was time to sleep train, but that's a hard step to take, knowing that it would involve a few nights of A LOT of crying and, honestly, what parents want to sit back and listen to their baby scream? It's torture.

It sucked. She cried. I curled up on the couch and ate a lot of chocolate. The first night she cried for 50 minutes straight before falling alseep. It was heart-wrenching and miserable and we nearly gave up a few different times in that hour. But she fell asleep, and woke up happy. We did the same routine with her naps during the day, which meant we stayed close to home all weekend and let her sleep dictate our outings. The second night, I settled in on the couch with a box of cookies, prepared to eat them all... and I barely got through a couple of them, before....... *silence*...... she fell asleep after only 12 minutes of crying. It was amazing.

So we'll see how the rest of the week goes, and hopefully this new routine will open up new possibilities of date nights (a babysitter can put her to bed! we can go out on the town!) and spending time together in the evenings instead of one of us pacing back and forth with Iny for an hour.

Way to sleep, bug!

I hope all of you slept well this weekend, too. Have a wonderful week, friends!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Last Week + Weekend Bits

My parents came to stay with us last week. It was fun, and delicious, and wonderful, and went by too quickly, as it always does when they're here. We didn't do much, other than eat, drink, play and console a cranky teething baby (molars are the WORST). Didz and I snuck off for a couple of dates alone, but mostly we all just hung around at home. On Thursday we prepared a Thanksgiving feast, and sat and ate and wore napkins on our heads (a ridiculous tradition that we take very seriously).

Early Friday morning my parents took off back to Boston, so the three of us jumped in the car and drove up to Ojai. We spent the weekend in the country, at Mia's family's ranch. Ina met a horse and ate dirt, we breathed in fresh mountain air, and got to see the stars at night. We even got to go out with friends one evening, while Ina slept back at the house with Mia's folks. It was relaxing and rejuvenating and such a perfect escape from the city.

Here's a glimpse into our week, and our weekend gettaway:

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This week we'll be eating salads and fruit (does apple pie count?;) and working off all that stuffing with long walks by the beach. I'm hoping to do a little holiday decorating around the house - but we'll see how that goes. My little helper will be far more keen on taking decorations down than putting them up. It'll be a minimalist Christmas for sure.

Happy December!