Showing posts with label Tidbits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tidbits. Show all posts

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sixteen Month Old Memories

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This little troublemaker turned sixteen months old today.

I've always been terrible at keeping baby books. It's hard for me to even imagine what my son was doing at sixteen months old. I've had to look back at photos of him to ring a bell. When it comes to comparing milestones, I draw a blank. For posterity and because Sutton is largely on my mind today, I thought I might chronicle some of her little achievements:

-  She thinks the word "no" is merely a suggestion. See exhibit A, above, when I told her to get off the coffee table.

-  She says hello and waves to her food when she is really hungry. "Hi, waffle! Hi!"

-  She gets very excited about new shoes. She is mommy's girl.

-  Just kidding. She is daddy's girl. At school, when a man enters the room, she happily exclaims, "Daddy!" and is crushed when it is not him.

-  When Keagan wakes up in the morning, she shouts, "Hi, buddy!" and won't stop until he comes downstairs to greet her.

-  She will do it herself. How dare you try to do it for her because she doesn't need you to do it, so back off.

-  If she had her way, she would dance and sing to Frozen or Sesame Street songs all day, every day.

-  As I shut her door last night, I heard three clear little words emerge from her crib: "I love oooooo." My heart exploded shortly after.

No, these aren't milestones like first steps, first words or first bike ride. But this is the stuff that I truly want to remember.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas and the New Year

Life skates by pretty quickly. The holidays took over, but I'm back to rapidly walk you through the madness. Shall we?


Well, this happened. I'm guaranteed a spot on Santa's naughty list for leaving my screaming child in his lap while I snapped this photo. Worth it. Posterity is everything.


On Santa attempt number two, we got this. Santa fail all around this year. And to prove my children exited their Santa run-ins unscathed, here is some tree time happiness.



The holidays were chock full of sweet reminders of our beloved Turbo.



For New Year's Eve, we decided to scratch the Eve and make it a day before the eve in St. Helena by celebrating the opening of Cook Tavern and stopping off for grenache at Elizabeth Spencer...



...which was perfect for our 6:30 p.m. celebration of the new year. Kevin and I didn't even make it to the New York ball drop. I was fast asleep by 8:30 p.m. Wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

Happy 2015, everyone!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Clear Mind, Happy Heart


Breathing deep and letting go feels a bit more soothing when you are in front of lapping waves and giggling children. After a hard couple of weeks mourning the passing of our sweet Turbo, a change of scenery was welcome. Everything in the house, despite my vacuuming, Febreezing, and tidying, seemed to remind me of our loss. I needed some respite from the norm.

We headed to Aptos, CA, to stay for a night with my in-laws, who were renting a house just steps from the beach. The ocean has such a calming effect on me - even my daughter's white noise machine is tuned to "ocean." Keagan galloped along the shore where the waves sloshed at his ankles, squealing in delight. Sutton tasted at least three handfuls of sand before figuring out that there was no meal to be had here. Kevin stood on guard as Keagan tested his bravery against the waves and the undertow of low tide. I breathed in the salty air, marveling at the pelicans fishing with huge, swooping dives in the break past the waves, and pointing out the occasional sea lion body surfing just yards before me.




On day two, we took lots of long walks down the beach. Sutton is testing out her newly discovered language - some of which is comprised of real words, such as "baby", "wa-wa" and "uh-oh" and some of which simply sounds like what she is trying to imply through tone and inflection - by pointing at things and going, "Es saaa?" (meaning, what's that?) Birds, houses, trees and cars were all points of curiosity and excitement.

But it was my excitement that was peaked when from the window of our place, we saw a pod of dolphins surfacing just past the break in the waves. I took off at light speed to the beach. With my feet in the wet sand and the waves hitting my toes, I watched their fins curve up and down as they streaked along the coast line. It may sound corny, but seeing them made me have this feeling of relief, as though they represented that there are still good, pure things in the world. I could have watched them all day and took great pleasure in pointing out their presence to my son.

When we left, I felt relaxed and peaceful. Kevin made the offhand comment, "Turbo would have loved this place." I nodded and smiled. This was the first time that I didn't well up at the mention of his name and instead, made jokes about how we would have gotten soaked when we would inevitably have had to fish him out of the water.

Nothing like the beach to give you a clear head and a happy heart.




Monday, September 15, 2014

The Reflection of Wonderment


This is quite possibly my favorite photo that I've ever taken of my son (and trust me, I've taken thousands of photos in the last 3 years). His reflection demonstrates all that I love so much about him - his sweet fascination with animals, the way he absorbs knowledge through his beautiful blue eyes, and his vigorous enthusiasm for life. I always say that it is such a joy to be able to see things in a whole new perspective through his eyes. This photo serves as the literal reflection of all that I am privileged to witness every day.

Our trip to the California Academy of Science was plagued with a bit of strife to begin. The line for Free Admission day was a city-block long and I wasn't about to brave the wait, even for a terrific deal. His eyes watered as I began to waffle on whether or not we should go in, which prompted me to suck it up and by a membership so we could enjoy our day. I'm now thrilled that I made that choice because we will be back very soon. He ran from sight to sight, exclaiming "Look at this! Look at that!" and he repeated all the names of the creatures "An-a-con-da!" He even corrected a woman later by saying, "That's not a bird, that's a macaw." I gave the woman a sheepish grin and steered my little tour guide on his way.

The highlights for him were the aquarium and the rain forest exhibit. The highlights for me were watching my children shine like the sun in the midst of their discoveries.



Monday, August 25, 2014

The Perfect First Day of School Pictures

You know how everyone stages those first day of school photo shoots at their front door? The child is proudly standing next to or holding a sign announcing the big day. Well, I gave it my best shot, but it is hard to keep a 3-year-old with a balloon in one place for long.

I forgot to finish a sign until ten minutes before photo time, so I slapped some tape on the door and threw up what I had. He chose this hilarious shirt for his first day of school because "the hamburger has muscles". He dropped his back pack and took off running down the sidewalk with glee as I shouted his name to get him to turn around. He smacked his balloon like a punching bag when I asked him to smile. It was joyful chaos.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.






Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Migraines: How to Avoid the Gateway to Hell

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Migraines are a special kind of misery. As Forrest Gump once said, "Migraines are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get and they are probably a trigger, so don't eat them."

Though I'm one of the lucky ones who only gets a migraine every few months, they still shut me down to a standstill. Last week, I was slammed in the skull with a migraine of the worst severity I have ever had. I left work wondering if I was going to be able to see the road through the aura that was streaking across my vision from the right side of my face. A fever of 101 kicked in as I forced my shivering body into bed, too hot to put my standard pillow across my eyes, too sensitive to handle the light without it. Eyes shut tight, I waited it out in agony.

Having a migraine is like being trapped inside of your own head. With eyes closed, I'm still awake due to pain and the caffeine in Excedrin Migraine, leaving me with nothing but my own thoughts. For some reason, all of the worst, most terrible thoughts I could possibly have seem to come rushing through some flood gate in the back of my brain that the migraine has swiftly opened. I imagine far-fetched scenarios, like my kids running into traffic and I can't get there quick enough, or what will I do when Turbo passes away? I ask myself why I'm thinking about these things and open my eyes to remove the images, only to hiss at the light like a vampire climbing out of a coffin before dusk.

My arms feel heavy. My right eye feels droopy. My speech feels disconnected. Am I having a stroke? (Again with the dark, ridiculous thoughts.) And then comes the Mommy guilt. My husband is now left to fend for himself with a toddler and a baby while I lay dormant in bed, wishing I could help and wishing I could fall into a deep, dark cave, simultaneously. I want to be with them, but the idea of sitting up is excruciating.

Everyone has their best advice on how to deal with a migraine. These days, I hear people share that Botox in the head and neck is the answer, but I don't think I can go that route just yet (however, talk to me again when I'm in pain and I'll probably offer to inject it myself). There are all kinds of drugs to take - consult your doctor, not your local blogger on that one. Today, I'll lay out advice on how to recover because it is advice I also need to adhere to in the future to reduce down time:
  1. Take meds early. The minute you feel that migraine feeling coming on - dull ache, slight nausea, light and sound sensitivity - even to the most minor degree, pop an Excedrin Migraine. I've fought off a few by simply being timely with the meds.

  2. Lie down. Stop worrying about the stuff you need to do. Don't feel guilty about bailing on friends or family. Work will wait. Lie down, shut up and try to sleep.

  3. Darkness is your friend. Bathe in it. Pretend you are a bat in a cave and revel in the dark. Bundle yourself into a blanket and a sleep mask and keep things light tight.

  4. Hydrate. Drink water like you are taking a journey through the Sahara. Once you think you have drank enough water, drink some more. 

  5. Pay attention to your triggers and write them down. Seriously, don't just log it to memory. Put any factors from the few days before into a journal. That time of the month? Too much red wine? Were you stressed out? Are you dehydrated? Writing it down each time allows you to establish a pattern that you can take to the doctor for some better examination. 
To all my fellow migraine sufferers out there, I salute you and I wish for you to have quick recoveries.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Exhaustion Is Not Productive


Here is what I've learned about having two kids under 3 year old. It is exhausting.

Now that I've returned to work, I have been putting a lot of effort into getting dressed in the morning. I've been cultivating a work chic look that I'm feeling good about. I dyed my hair a few shades darker just to mix it up in the winter months. I'm currently scouting new glasses. And I would love to share all of this with you but I simply cannot get it together to take a picture. Why?

Because I feel just like Turbo looks. I'm wiped out to the point where I want to lay on my paws and snore all day.

But I'm working on it. I'm going to snap some photos this weekend of my new favorite Gap khakis and I'm going to write a couple things on the transition from maternity leave to hiring a nanny. Life has been a sleepless blur; bear with me.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'Tis the Season





This is the first holiday season in which my son is old enough to truly enjoy the festivities. He is finally getting caught up in the magic of the month. This was evident on our trip to pick out our tree. He darted through the lot with vigorous energy and giant smiles. We followed dutifully behind, laughing as he shouted, "C'mon, guys! C'mon!"

Santa is discussed with great interest but not yet fully realized in his mind. Our house elf, which Keagan named Joe, darts about the room each night (when I remember to move him) and Joe is greeted every morning with wide-eyed, jaw-dropped surprise and wonder. The lights have gone up and my online shopping is complete. 'Tis the season to really enjoy Christmas anew through the eyes of my son.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Carmel Delight

Where have you been the past week? Oh, just living the life by the sea, that's all. A little mini-vacation with one of my best girlfriends from college was overdue. Here is a little peek at the getaway I'm still daydreaming about today.

At Dennis the Menace Park, Monterey:












Friday, April 5, 2013

Suburban Dream

Last weekend, we moved to the suburbs of San Francisco - Marin County. Moving wrecks me down to my core. I hate living in chaos. My inability to find a certain pair of shoes when I need them in the morning sends me into a rage, so imagine misplacing all of your shoes. I've had a hard time adapting.

Additionally, it has been a bit bittersweet to leave San Francisco. My favorite city in the world holds so much that I hold near and dear to my heart. Diversity. Friends. Constant activity. A gorgeous landscape. Memories of my youth. A move into the suburbs signifies a step away from my past and the next progression into my future.

After a few nights in our new place, I have found little things I love - small bits I didn't even know I was missing. We now have a small backyard, which is considered a luxury in San Francisco. My son constantly wants to run outside and play. He invents little games and leaps around with unabashed joy in the warm sunshine (also a luxury in SF).


Watching him fly with Daddy sent my heart into the air as well.

And speaking of those who love the backyard...


My little sun worshiper has discovered the warmth of the patio and its benefit to his arthritic joints. I'm pretty sure I've seen him smiling more than once. When my husband sent me this photo, my pregnancy hormones kicked into overdrive and I started crying tears of joy. I'm out of control.

In other words, for all the things I miss in San Francisco, I'm discovering a new thing in our little Pleasantville neighborhood that are making me grin wider and wider each day. that I'm feeling better and unpacking my clothes, it is back to outfit posts next week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On Insomnia


Insomnia. You are no friend of mine. It seems to hit our household like a tsunami, coming in waves and overtaking either my husband or me. I will hear Kevin sighing heavily as he tries to force his head deeper into what he claims are terribly uncomfortable pillows. He spins and churns under the covers until he gives up and retreats to the living room for some TV time and a new angle. I feel terrible that he is so miserable and do my best to get back to sleep so I can take charge the next day.

That next day comes and goes and the next night, it is my turn to pop wide awake at 3:45 AM. Immediately, my head begins to spin over bills, projects unfinished at work and stuff that happened to me in 8th grade, like the time I got into an argument with a teacher over the capital of Texas (he tried to convince me it was Houston and told me I might get a detention when I reputed him). Why this memory? I have no clue. The mind goes to ridiculous places when left to its own devices.

I grab my pillow and head to the living room to see what on the DVR might lull me back to sleep.  It is there I'm greeted by the face above. Turbo stares at me in disbelief, half-pleased that I'm joining him on the couch and half-irritated that I've disturbed his restful slumber. He sits and stares at me with eyes half-closed while I stroke his ears, then proceeds to snuggle into my stomach while I sift through my DVR playlist. And I sit. I stare into nothing while Turbo snores and I wonder just where my ability to sleep through a tsunami went.

Anyone have foolproof cures for insomnia?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shoo, Flu


It seems like everywhere I turn, I hear stories of households hit with the flu. The minute I saw coworkers walking through the office with Kleenex at their noses, I knew I was done for. When coworkers come to work sick, I get so angry. I want to shout, "You are nobody's hero! Stay home!" But then I get sick and I have so many meetings that I can't miss, I end up doing exactly what I rage about - trudging into the office with a fever, a cough drop and a mission to just get through it. Between office germs and daycare cooties, a working mom doesn't stand a chance.

It's not that I mind cuddling on the couch with my son while we recover. It's that I hate feeling how hot his little body gets when ravished with fever. There is little I can do to comfort the pain he feels due to his ear infection. There aren't enough kisses to give to assure him that it will be OK in a few days. And since I'm feeling pretty terrible myself, I hate that my energy level is at the bare minimum to take care of him, let alone myself.

As Keagan shows signs of feeling better, I'm still trying to catch up. When people ask how I'm feeling, I say, "Fine! Much better!" when truly, I wish I could have one full day to lay in bed, watch HGTV and eat chicken soup. Instead, I'm rolling up my sleeves and plastering on a smile in between sniffles.

Go away, flu!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ten Tidbits


Now that I've moved to a new site, please allow me to reintroduce myself with some personal facts.
  • I'm named after a duck. Did I mention that my parents met in San Francisco in the '70's? LSD is a helluva drug. 
  • Teal is a duck, you say? That's right. And my first name is Cinnamon. Cinnamon Teal. The name "Cinnamon" was on my dorm room door when I arrived at college. There was a line of football players who had arrived the week before. They made their way to my room to see just who Cinnamon was. One look, and their double-D fantasy was immediately destroyed.
  • The CD that is in my car's deck right now is Public Enemy - Fear of A Black Planet. Also in my car is Nirvana - Unplugged and Run DMC - Greatest Hits. Apparently, my musical tastes haven't left the '90's, and neither has the technology in my car because, you know...CDs.
  • When I gave birth to my son, I was in labor for 58 hours. You heard me. And if you are pregnant with your first and reading this, then allow me to say, look away, don't click that link and everything is going to be smooth sailing for you and your vagina. Oh look! A rainbow! (runs away)
  • I wear a size 11 shoe. And I'll ask you to wipe that look of pity off of your face, thank you kindly. I get it enough from every shoe salesman I've ever encountered.
  • If I'm not making a specialized Spotify playlist, I'm thinking about what playlist I would like to create next. Musical moods and genres are a big deal in my life.
  • You can tell how hungry I am by my Pinterest boards. If lots of pins for appetizers, crockpot meals or mac and cheese pop up, then you can safely assume I haven't eaten lunch yet.
  • I'm allergic to shellfish. And I absolutely hate having to announce at group dinners, "I'm allergic to shellfish!" It feels so high-maintenance. Although it is probably much more high-maintenance to say nothing and then be the person throwing up at the table. 
  • My current favorite TV shows (and thanks to DVRs, I watch quite a bit) are It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Modern Family, Girls, Workaholics, RuPaul's Drag Race, Key & Peele, Portlandia, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Top Chef and Project Runway. I will also drop everything to watch any "Top 40 Songs of the _____" on VH1. And the Netflix relaunch of my favorite show of all time, Arrested Development, can't arrive soon enough. This list should give you a pretty good snapshot of my inner-geek love of pop culture. Steve Holt!
  • I'm a firm believer that karaoke is a right, not a privilege.
  • My favorite story about my bulldog, Turbo, comes from my friend in Seattle. She was dog-sitting for him and she had a date at her apartment. Turbo farted throughout the evening, staring blithely at her date, along the lines of "What are you gonna do about it?" The relationship went sour (and so did the air...badum-bum!) and my friend claims that Turbo is the best barometer for the merits of a good date.
So, there you have it. We have been properly (re)introduced. Please, let me take your coat so you can get comfortable. Stay a while, and we can chat in the comments about all that we do or don't have in common. Avoid sitting on the left side of the couch - it is covered in dog hair, no matter how much I vacuum.