Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coaster Mesa, California 

I needed coasters, bad.  Seriously the set I had came from my first roommate (circa 1998) and were made of rubber and sadness.  So I made some new ones and it was fun and easy and I think they’re cute!

1. Start with Sculpy in a bunch of colors, I love neon anything, and I also used a few peices of white to keep them bright and to keep the colors from getting too muddy. 

2. Roll the pieces into long, skinny worms. This part was ultra exciting to my toddler. 

3. Bunch the worms together and start to twist. 

4. Roll this new mega warm with your hands along a smooth table or bar.  When it gets double the length, food in half and twist and roll again. 

5.  Keep repeating this process for as long as you like.  I think the more you twist and fold the better the colors look at the end but that’s a preference thing.  When you reach your desired color squish, roll the worm into a ball. 

6. Flatten your worm ball on a smooth surface with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/4-1/2″ thick.  If the clay is sticking to the surface, do this on aluminum foil instead so you can transfer to a baking sheet without making it look like sheet. 

6. Take an extra large cookie cutter if you have one, or use the rim of a big cup to cut out a perfect circle. 

7. Transfer your circles (with the foil if need be) to a baking sheet and bake per the instructions on the package (this is your lazy tutorial).  Wait to cool, and voila!  You can gold leaf the edges to make them super cool but I’m not that fancy. 


Sleep Training!

I’m pretty sure I stumbled upon the trick to sleep training.  It may even be the key to parenting, period.  When I say “stumbled upon” I mean my mom told me.  And not only that, I’ve probably been told these things both by my mom and many others for a long time but never listened.  But it got to the point where I was dreading bedtime with my 18 month old and desperate times call for desperate measures (such as taking the good advice you’ve been given repeatedly).  And I’m SO glad I finally listened because this recipe has really worked for us!  

To be clear, we are not sleep training in the sense that River is being moved to his own bed, he still sleeps with me.  But I have no doubt that this method would work for moving a baby into their own bed, or just getting them to bed no matter what you guys do at your house.

Every night it would take me up to 2 hours to get River to sleep after we were already in bed.  He would settle for a little bit and just as I was tricked into thinking he was nodding off, suddenly it was party time.  He would go from laying down taking his bottle to immediately standing on the bed practicing his trust falls and the high-stepping jog in place move from Flashdance.  If I told him to lay down or actually pull him down he thought it was hysterical and this would turn into a game for him. His next move was to climb out of bed to go find my make up, which is his favorite thing to play with.  (I realize as I’m typing this there may be some signs here that one day I’ll look back on and think, hmm, we should have known all along)  Anyway bedtime was always an ordeal and I hated it. 

I would call my mom during the day and have desperate, long talks with her and finally the stuff she had been telling me all along sunk in and IT WORKS.  Not only has it made putting River to bed a breeze, but I feel like a better mom all together and now I’m going to share it with YOU.

Basically there are 3 pieces to this and they are all equally important, they are; schedule, repetition and will.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; That’s it?  That’s your amazing information? Those aren’t tricks!  I hate you!

Just believe me when I tell you doing it this way will give you the result you’re after far quicker than you think, so bare with me.  

Schedule: This refers not only to putting your child to bed at the same time each night, but creating a full regimen before bedtime.  These will be your child’s subconscious signals that not only is bedtime coming, but that it’s time to get sleepy.  These are things like baths and stories, putting on PJs, brushing teeth, etc.  For River and me it starts off with taking the dog outside and looking for the moon, which he is obsessed with.  Also about an hour before bed I start making it dimmer/calmer in the house.  My house is typically lit up like Las Vegas, so I turn off about 42 lights and just keep on 1 or 2.  I also turn down the volume on the TV if it’s on (who am I kidding?) and don’t roughhouse with River, only quiet playing or reading.  This last part is easier said than done when dad’s home, we’re still working on sleep training him.  

Repetition:  As a hypnotherapist I have a fair amount of knowledge about habits, both breaking them and creating them.  Good sleep behavior is a habit, so anyone can get there (even babies), it just takes time and effort.  They say practice makes perfect and there’s a reason for that.  

Neural pathways are the little roads that neurons (nerve cells) travel on.  These are how nerve signals travel to and from the brain.  Like real dirt roads, every time a path is traveled down, it gets deeper, wider, easier to pass through, and we know that energy will take the path of least resistance.  Therefore, doing something repeatedly makes it easier and easier to do until it just becomes “habit” or subconsciously driven.  Meaning you no longer have to “try” it’s just automatic. 

But here’s the best news of all, somehow the lucky number seems to be 7.  For some reason our brains really like this number and if we can push ourselves to do something 7 times, our subconscious seems to be more likely to accept it and absorb it after reaching this milestone. 

So couple this with your schedule and bedtime regimen and remember to stick with it and don’t take a day off.  Keep in mind that every night you don’t stick with your bedtime plan, you are actually reinforcing the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.  

Will:  This is the step that I really feel unlocked a new level for me as a mom.  All babies and kids test limits, it’s what they do.  It’s how they get to know the world around them, and it’s up to us as parents to makes sure the perception of the world we are helping them create not only works for them/us immediately, but in the long run as well.  It’s far too easy to give in and I did it all the time.  But now I realize it’s my absolute duty to follow through, if I say no, I have to keep correcting him until he listens, even if it means prying my fat ass off the couch to go stop him. (Being a mom is hard)

In some ways it’s made me choose my battles, some things I don’t love I’m just going to let fly.  But in those times I have to remember not to say no even once, because if I do, I have to follow through whether I want to or not.  

When putting River to bed, it was always a battle of wills because somewhere down the line he learned he could break me.  I was so annoyed and tired that I’d say f*ck it and just let him get out of bed and go play in his “salon” so that I’d get a break from fighting him.

In order to break this habit, I had to show him that my will is always stronger than his.  If I lay him down and he stands up, I lay him down again.  If he stands up 184 times, I have to correct him 187 times, because if I stop at 186, I’m only reinforcing that he can always get his way if only he keeps trying.  This builds up HIS will and next time he’ll be prepared to stand up 200 times if that’s what it takes.  

So I’m going to tell you now, the first night of this new “sleep training” is going to suck.  If you’re trying to get your baby to lay in their crib, or a child in their own bed, it’s the same thing.  You have to keep correcting them until they finally lay down and stay there and you can’t give up.  Ever. 

I told this to myself the first night, I knew it was going to suck so I mentally prepared to be up until 3 that night.  Fortunately it took way less time than I thought, about 45 minutes until he finally gave up and just laid there.  I sat there next to him kind of in disbelief as he just stared up at the ceiling, and then his blinks got heavier and heavier and he fell asleep about 20 minutes later.  That was HUGE for us.  I’ve literally never seen him do that. 

The second night also sucked, but just a liiiiittle bit less than the first.  I had to lay him back down over and over for about a half hour this time, and then same thing, he laid there for about 20 minutes, blinking, until he fell asleep.  

I should also mention that will is not just about laying him down.  I also don’t engage him at all.  I don’t speak to him, not even to say “no” or “lay down.”  I don’t cuddle him or kiss him or sing to him or pat him on the butt.  Once the lights are out, that’s it.  This is also really not easy to do, but it’s important. 

So every night got a little bit easier.  I was worried when we had a family emergency about 5 days into this and we needed to travel, but I stuck with my 3 rules as much as possible while we were away and it didn’t seem to set him back too much.

Now I honestly can’t believe how great bedtime is!  I lay him down with his bottle (we’re still working on getting rid of that, at this point it’s mostly water but I’d like to get rid of it as a crutch) and he drinks the whole thing quietly and without trying to get up.  When he’s finished he literally hands it to me (which makes me laugh, idk why), then rolls over on his tummy and makes a few little baby babbles and lays there until he falls asleep!  I would not believe it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes!  Actually, the past 4 nights in a row he has finished his bottle, handed it to me, then found my lips in the dark to give me a kiss, then rolled over for bed like we are a married couple.  It’s the funniest thing ever.

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Cement to be?

I hate the waiting game.  Especially when you know you have a lot of work to do but can’t get started yet.  I have so many design ideas for the new house but can’t do a thing about them until we move in!  We need a ton of new furniture, etc., but my hands are tied for another couple months.  All I can do is fantasize and imagine what the space will look like, which is difficult because our design choices are very different from the ones in the model home, which is my only point of reference. 

So you can imagine my delight when I came across this photo online of just about EXACTLY what our kitchen will look like!!  The photo is from Style Me Pretty and the house must be from the same builder because everything in it is exact!  And lucky for me, these are pretty uncanny for the choices I made on finishes!  Literally the only differences are that instead of another cupboard, our hood goes all the way up, and we will have black hardware on the cabinets. That’s it.  So I finally get to see what the kitchen will look like finished!

The original plan was to have a white subway tile backsplash, as this kitchen does.  But then in my escapades on Pinterest I absolutely fell in love with cement tile!  If it wasn’t so expensive the whole goddamned house would be cement tile and we would sleep on a cement tile bed and eat cement tile for breakfast.  I think I must have pinned every black, gray and white cement tile pattern the world has to offer.  

So I photoshopped one of the patterns (very crappily, I might add) into the photo of the kitchen and to my dismay (maybe), I’m not loving it. Could it possibly just be my terrible photoshop skills?  I can’t tell.  But now I’m doubting myself and I have only a couple options.  I could make a choice in the next couple days and have the builder install it for me and run the risk of not loving it, or I can wait until we’re in the house so I can play with it in person, but then I have to install it myself.  

The subway tile is a lot less expensive and I know I won’t ever hate it because it’s so basic, but I worry about the kitchen looking too white or sterile. Every other thing will be white (including possibly the floors) except for the island, cupboard hardware and light fixtures. 

The cement tile is so chic and will really stylize the whole house!  There’s a bit of a Spanish feel in the rest of the house, which I love.  But it’s costly and I’ve never seen it in person.  I would love input!  What would you do?

Here are a bunch of my favorite patterns.

We Got Wood!

We bought a house!  🙂  It’s currently being built and it’s in Arizona.  This is probably the most excited I’ve ever been other than when I found out I was pregnant with River.  So this is a design blog now.  K?  Not really but these are the things I’m obsessed with currently so I’m sure I’ll be posting a lot about it. 

All Of My Love

I’ve had a couple happy posts in the works meaning to get back to this thing, but something more important recently came up. This week someone very dear to me passed away after a very long and brave battle with cancer.  
I hesitate to describe her as my friend’s mom because she meant so much more to me than that. I learned so much from her and her glowing spirit. She was fun and elegant and a straight shooter all at once. She was the “cool parent” without any of the negative connotations of that. She took me to my first real concert (Doobie Brothers and Foreigner) and let me move into her all ready full house where I was no doubt in the way, although she never made me feel it. She taught me how to tie a tie and arrange flowers. She encouraged me to have an appreciation for the finer things in life and also be able to laugh at myself. She inspired my love of cooking and taught me to always have music on. She’s the reason I listened to classic rock when I was a kid rather than whatever other crap I would have been into. From her example I learned how important it is to laugh and dance and drink life in and never take yourself too seriously.  

Jeanette, you will be missed greatly but so much of you lives on through the people you touched. Love forever. ❤️

finally the force is with us!

Yesterday was my 2 week post op check up and it was full of good news!  It was another great lesson from the universe that I need to stop assuming I know the outcome of things that haven’t happened yet.  I was so sure that on top of being a wretched thing to go through and the loss of the baby, this whole ordeal pretty much sealed my fate for ever getting pregnant again on my own.  I’ve been stewing in that for 2 weeks feeling sorry for myself and yesterday I got the positive smack upside the head I needed.

First off, the “bunches of cysts” on both ovaries that the ultrasound technician saw weren’t cysts at all!  They were blood clots from the initial slow bleed of the ectopic.  So my ovaries are great!  I guess my blood was clotting like crazy as they were trying to suction it out of my body, which is usually good, you want blood to clot, but it kept getting stuck in the suction machine.  So she ended up leaving a fair amount of blood in me, which actually was good I guess because it gets reabsorbed, so my numbers and iron looked great.  And it should, there was a fuck of a lot of it pumped in there.  In total I had 6 units of blood plus platelets and other plasma products.  Thank God for people who donate!  From now on I will be donating blood regularly. 

The doctor also said my other tube is “beautiful,” clear, and in perfect shape!  And my endometriosis is currently nonexistent!  

My incisions are healing really well and I got the green light to pick up River!!  I’m so freaking excited about this.  I still have to take it easy but just to hold his fat body for a few minutes makes me happy. 

I also learned something super duper interesting about female anatomy. I always thought that your ovaries were both affixed at the end of either Fallopian tube, so the loss of a tube would really be equal to the loss of an ovary.  But that is WRONG!  Apparently Fallopian tubes are all loosey goosey in there, and sweep around searching for the egg that’s being released.  They can even sweep to the opposite ovary!  I had a hard time picturing this so last night in bed I searched Dr. World Wide Web for a video so I could wrap my little pea brain around it, and I found this.  

So even though I only have one tube, the left side can take over the work of my missing tube and deliver my released eggs from BOTH ovaries.  This is wonderful news because I was obviously concerned this surgery had cut my chances of getting pregnant again naturally in half. 

I’m so, so happy that I get to share all this positive stuff!  And now that I’m on this side of it I think I can actually admit how scary and awful this whole thing was.  Obviously I wanted to let people know what was going on, and I preferred to post about it rather than have Jordan and I both need to message the people in our lives that would want to know and tell this story/relive it over and over.  That was just too much.  I wanted to be careful not to dramatize the situation when I posted it and make people worry about me because that’s shitty.  But now that I’m ok I can say this was hands down the scariest and most painful thing I’ve ever lived through.  I honestly thought I was going to die.  My doctor said she did, too.  The first thing she did when she came in was hug me and tell me how happy she is that I’m here, because I almost wasn’t.  She said the other 2 surgeons were panicking and telling her to cut me open immediately and perform a hysterectomy to just get me to stop bleeding.  But my doctor was calm and collected and made the decision to do it laparoscopically and just take the tube and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for her!  I love my doctor.  The nurses were all coming out one by one to hug me and tell me how scared I had them.  The last time they saw me I was strapped to a gurney being wheeled out by the Chippendale EMTs. 

I don’t know what the future holds but I am alive and happy and HOPEFUL in the very least.  I just again want to thank each person who sent flowers, care packages, messages, daimoku, etc.  I really felt the love and it helped me through this in a big way.  And I am doing great now so you can scratch me off your list of people to be concerned about.  


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friday favorites!

1.  If I have a motto about dressing babies it’s that comfort is king!  I love babies and kids that look comfortable, cute, and never fussy.  That’s what’s cool to me.  Childhoods Clothing gets it.  So far River only has 2 rompers and a pair of their shorty shorts, but I want everything they have in every size and color.  I love that they come in all types of layers, even short sleeved hoodies.  Which works great in California where even in the summer it always cools down at night juuuust enough for another layer.  

2. Aren’t these pillows just the neatest?  I want a whole mountain range for River’s bed.  I imagine the dreams he would have about being a great adventurer with these surrounding him.  They’re made by Three Bad Seeds and even their tree and animal pillows are just as stylish and cool as hell.  What’s better than awesome looking bedding that works double duty for play time, too?

3.  I couldn’t decide which style of these awesome night lights from Goodnight Light I wanted to feature.  I fell in love with their kitschy baby doll night lights, stayed for the pink pineapple, but am now in a committed relationship with their new cactus lights!  Unique and fun and sophisticated enough to feature in any room of your house, not just a kid’s room.  Think about how chill this would look on literally any flat surface of your house.  (River is lucky his helmet treatment corrected that or he’d be wearing one of these on his head)

4.  I’ve spent WAY too much time indoors this week due to my surgery and I am about ready to kick down the door and flee, meanwhile I can’t even lift up my leg in the tub high enough for the razor to reach it.  But all I can think about is taking River to the beach.  I’m on the hunt for a really good beach umbrella (if you find one let me know), but also on the list was a towel big enough for the both of us.  I’ve had my eye on these round towels from The Beach People for quite awhile just because they’re so cool.  I’ve seen a lot of knock offs since, but the thing I like about these is that they are thick and soft.  A lot of other round “beach blankets” are made of thin cotton, like a flat bed sheet.   That’s uh no good at the beach.  Give me something soft and absorbent and thick enough to be warm if I need to use it as a blanket when the wind kicks up while my moon doggy is still hangin 10.  I can’t wait to park our behinds on this baby as soon as I find the right umbrella and my husband shaves my legs. 

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Hellooo, Nurse!

Nurse Booby

My grandma was smart as a whip and “with it” pretty much until the end of her life, which happened to be just a week shy of her 101st birthday.  In her late 90s she was still reading Russian spy novels, kind of who-done-it murder mysteries where it’s important to keep all of the characters straight, and they all had last names that started with “Zh” and contained 47 letters, random Qs and a hieroglyphic of a bird.  Grandma was a force. 

There were really only a few times you could “catch her slippin” and only in the last year or so of her life.  A couple times while holding my tiny Chihuahua Booger on her lap and stroking his neck she called him a “good kitty” which really could have been anyone’s mistake.  He was actually more rodent than canine.  The other time was when she would repeat the same conversation over and over, even if she had just finished it 5 minutes earlier.  But it was always the same conversation and it always started with her asking me the same question, “could you ever be a nurse?”

She would go on to talk about how she didn’t think it was something she could ever do, and that the people who could were so exceptionally marvelous.  In her 100 years in the planet, with all of her experiences and everything she saw, at the end of her life what struck her the most was that there were people out there selfless enough to be nurses.  

She was a very healthy person.  Other than having her 5 babies, she never spent any time in the hospital up until the end of her life.  She didn’t have many experiences where she needed some of the things that we know nurses provide.  She never needed their quick action in a life or death situation.  She never needed them to change the dressing on a festering sore, or clean her bedpan.  She never needed to lean on them while trying to walk for the first time in weeks or to pull up her underwear after going to the bathroom.  She never needed them console her when she was scared or required one of their magic tricks like getting you to pee for the first time without a catheter after abdominal surgery with the use of a peri bottle. 

Although she never required a lot of what nurses have to offer personally, all these things added to her appreciation of them.  But there was one thing that nurses provide I think she valued most, and that’s dignity.  

Dignity was huge to my grandmother and it’s something that nurses provided for her in a big way at the end of her life.  

It’s not easy as an adult living without some or all of your independence.  It can be very difficult needing to lean on other people or have them care for you.  No matter what your restriction nobody loves asking for help, especially from loved ones.  Nurses not only provide the care, but they do it in a way that preserves dignity.

I’ve had a lot of instances where nurses have saved me. Through surgeries in my life and having my baby and even while TRYING to get pregnant, nurses have been by my side.  My mother in law is a nurse, and when it’s midnight (3am where she lives) and I’m worried about River’s poop or he has hives, she’s the one on the phone with me talking me through it.  After I had my baby, one of my mom’s dear friends who has been a NICU nurse for 30+ years was the one answering my questions and sending me literature and words of encouragement every step of the way.  This past week when I collapsed at my ultrasound appointment it was the nurse Raelyn who was literally holding me up on the toilet and who revived me with smelling salts, called the paramedics and my husband and then helped me get my pants on before 9 soap opera hunk EMTs showed up to the bathroom.  In the ER as I was losing 4 liters of blood in a matter of minutes and I had swarms of medical people buzzing around me and shouting things to each other that I didn’t understand, it was the nurse with the green eyes who kept getting close to my face and smiling and squeezing my hand to tell me I was doing great.  It was this same nurse who I turned to in the operating room moments before they put me under that I looked at with tears in my eyes and told I was scared.  Even with a mask on, I could feel her smile as she reassured me.  She said “you have the best people around you right now, we’re going to take care of you.  I promise.”

I love nurses so much.  Happy National Nurses Week!

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Happy Mother’s Day to Those in the Meantime

I can’t believe on this day last year I was still waiting to meet River.  It feels like I’ve already been through several lifetimes since he’s been here with me.   

My first Mother’s Day was a little bitter sweet with everything that went down this week, dealing with a loss, and still feeling physically like I was hit by a bus.  But I have my River!  And he took his first steps to me and waved bye bye for the first time today!  Hopefully this is not an indication he’ll be moving out tomorrow.  It really does go by fast.  

Because of the serious lows this week I had to do some soul searching today to pull myself out of the pity party I was already subconsciously starting to decorate for when I woke up this morning.  I needed to get a better perspective so I didn’t just cry all day.  I thought about all the years we tried for our precious River, and I also thought about all those moms who don’t have a baby to hold on this side of life yet.  Per usual, at first that took me a little deeper into my despair.  How do you explain all that sadness away into something that is ok?  But I think there’s a reason that makes sense. 

With all the highs and lows this year I can say without a doubt being a mother is not a destination.  It’s a journey that begins long before that child is even a glimmer in your eye (or a twinkle at the end of an IVF syringe or a sparkle on the tip of the pen used to sign adoption papers).  You don’t just become a mother on the day your first child is born.  Every day of your life leading up to meeting your baby for the first time is an important piece of being a mom and meaningful in determining what KIND of mom you will be, which is everything.  

Giving birth to a baby doesn’t make you a mother, being a nurturer does.  Nurturing yourself and others years before your baby arrives is more than a warm up, it’s the real deal and an important element of being a mom.  Some people get their babies early in life, but then miss out on nurturing themselves first, and vice versa.

No matter where you are on your journey of being a mom, whether you have met your little one yet or not, remember to feel gratitude for what you have in the meantime because your baby needs you to.  It’s a skill you will need to teach them.  But it’s also the way we keep from becoming bitter and disdainful. Those are not great traits for a mother.  

There will always be sadness in life, but also ALWAYS something to be grateful for.  Gratitude is the absolute key to life.  Remember that no matter where you stand, you cannot see the big picture yet.  If you could, gratitude would be a lot easier to find.  Sometimes things seem like they’re nowhere in sight, but they lay just around the corner.  If you could see what was around every corner throughout your life, you’d probably breathe easier, but you would never try and fail, never grow, never suffer and then triumph, and you’d never be strong.  What kind of mom would that be?  Not the kind you want to be, trust me.  Growth is imparitive, but so is unshakable happiness.  In the meantime, take notice of what there is to be happy about RIGHT NOW, and I promise you’ll find it’s actually unlimited.  

Easy for me to say now, right?  No, not really.  It’s still hard for me, but gets easier with practice.  Of course I know I have so much to be happy about!  And it’s so obvious to me partially because I spent so long in the meantime.  I’m so grateful for River!  And my husband, family and friends.  And my health and my LIFE that I understand even more now is fleeting and precious.  And I’m also  grateful my air conditioning is working (it wasn’t last night) and that I have ice cream in the freezer.  But most of all, I’m grateful that Game of Thrones is on tonight and I will hopefully get to see someone cut in half or beheaded. That will really put a nice little cap on this week. 


Today I made the mistake of looking up what an 11 week fetus looks like and now I can’t get it out of my head.  A super tiny, yet fully formed baby with fingers and tooth buds, itty bitty ears and tiny nose.  It’s too much for me right now.  

Here’s where some of the confusion came from about how far along I was.  First off, I had been having my period for the last several months, which I guess can happen with an ectopic.  When I went in Wednesday for the ultrasound the tech measured  a 4 week 4 day yolk sack in my endometrium.  This obviously made sense to me.  But the baby they pulled out of my Fallopian tube was much further along, the doctor said “at least 10 weeks.”  Because I chart my periods, ovulation and intercourse we now know for certain the baby was 11 weeks exactly. 

Now because of this mystery sack in my uterus I have to go in next week for a blood test to make sure it was not a double pregnancy, to know for certain I am no longer pregnant.  If that were the case I would need a D&C.  But the doctor said it may be what is called a pseudo sack, my body knew it was pregnant so it was trying to do the right thing and the sack would be empty.  I’m hoping that’s the case, I can’t handle another procedure and the loss of another baby at this moment. 

I’m kicking myself for not testing sooner, I knew there was something wrong.  I know it wouldn’t have been possible to save the baby, but I wouldn’t have let it get so far.  I feel really guilty about that.  And at the very least I may still have my tube. 

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