Monday, January 31, 2011

My Special Levi Time

I feel like Levi has grown up all of a sudden, especially this last month or two. I've found myself getting all weepy thinking about him getting big so fast, and even looking at newborn pictures of him has me in tears. It's kind of pathetic...I mean he's only 4 months old. But I feel like he is already a different baby!

It's so funny how as a parent, you can't wait to see all the milestones, and once they reach one you are already looking forward to the next. This has been going on even since I was pregnant! I couldn't wait to find out if he was a boy or a girl....then I couldn't wait to feel him kick....then I couldn't wait til he was born...and so on. Now I kind of miss feeling those little jabs in my belly and feeling his hiccups (although it is certainly much better being able to actually hold him and see him, I'll admit). The time he was in my womb went so fast but was so special to me, even when I was sick of being pregnant. I could feel every little move he made, and no one else could. I could be sitting in a room full of people, yet only I could have that connection with my baby, and no one else even knew. It was a closeness I will never experience with anyone else.

Once he was out in the world I was sooo looking forward to his first smiles...and then when they came I couldn't wait for his laugh...and him being able to roll over....and him coo-ing...ah I could go on and on. Now I look back and see how much he has grown and matured and how much of a little personality he has and I can't even believe it's the same baby who was just this rubbery, sleeping little blob only 4 months ago. As much as I still find myself saying "Oooh I can't wait until he can talk! Crawl! Walk!", the reality is that I am just fine with waiting. I need to enjoy and savor every single minute I have with him as a baby. And forever, for that matter. So many people have said "Enjoy every stage, it goes by so fast!", and whaddaya know, they're right. I'm trying to just live in the moment and remember these precious times with my baby boy.

As much as I am exhausted and would love a decent night's sleep, I catch myself staring at him while he is in his little bassinet and secretly kind of looking forward to his little middle-of-the-night feeding (not so much the crack of dawn one though :P ) because no matter how big he is now, he turns back into that sleepy little newborn who relied on me and only me for his sustenance. Since I am back to work now, he gets bottles from the Grandmas, Dad, and the daycare lady. He's so alert and interested in what's going on around him now that a lot of the time he just gets too distracted to even nurse when I try to breastfeed him during the day. But in the still of the night, when the world is asleep and our noisy street is finally quiet, he latches on to me and I feel a remnant of that special connection. I sit there and I try to memorize everything about that time, because I know it will be over before I know it. I love the way his eyelashes look so long when I look down on him, and how his little ears move when he suckles, and how his hand reaches up and lays so gently on my chest, and how he rubs his little feet together. It's our special time and I LOVE it.

And I will really, really miss it someday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beach Day!

So, Clay got a new job, and we finally get to both have the same day off together! I love it. We can actually hang out during daylight hours as a family! Yay! Anyway, last Sunday was sooo nice and warm out, so we went down to the beach with Levi and some friends, too. For the most part, Levi likes the beach. At some point he usually falls asleep, I think the sound of the ocean must be kind of soothing to him. Now, before I post pictures, let it be known that we take great care to keep him under the umbrella and out of the sun for 98% of the time we are at the beach, especially since he is too young to wear sunscreen. But we found him some super cute sunglasses at Nordstrom a few months ago and he is finally starting to fit into them, so pictures had to ensue. :)

Here are a few:

He's such a little man now!! Makes me kinda sad :(

I may be biased, but I think I have the cutest little boy in the world.

Ta ta!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jungle Gym Under the Sea

One of Levi's favvvvorite Christmas presents was the activity gym that my dad got him. It's kind of like a colorful mat with tent poles that have little things hanging down, like a mobile. It's underwater themed and plays music when he bats the toys and a light that blinks along with the music. This thing is a lifesaver!! Now that he is a little older, he is no longer content with simply staring at me, sleeping, and eating all day. Oh no. He wants to explore. He has discovered the T.V. - much to my dismay - and will just stare at it, fixated beyond belief. He prefers to be held and walked around at adult eye level so that he can get the full life experience. And forget laying on his back - he tries and tries to sit up so that he can see what's going on around him. All this, of course, is great, but it gets a little tiring to keep him entertained while also carrying on with the things I need to get done day to day. Enter the activity gym. He can lay there and play with that thing for about an hour straight, which is like precious gold in the form of time.

Also, milestone alert! He rolled over from his tummy to his back for the first time yesterday! Yeahyuuuh Levi!! His favorite place to perform this new trick is the aforementioned gym, because he can start off on his tummy looking at the colors on the mat, and voila! Flip to his back and explore the mobile. Gotta love it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Levi's 1st Christmas

Levi is one spoiled baby! As predicted, everyone went all out and got him lots of presents. I tried to limit the number of toys that would be bombarding us by asking for necessities like diapers in lieu of toys and clothes, but apparently baby toys and clothes are a lot more fun to shop for. Who knew? ;) Now finding a place to put all his new stuff is the challenge! Even though baby-spoiling is kind of inevitable at Christmas, especially from the grandmas, I always want Levi to know the real reason for Christmas and to appreciate the things that he already has. I also want him to find the most joy in giving to others. I'm a big believer in the happiness found in the non-material side of life - God, family, friendship, and nature. We don't drive fancy cars or live in a big house (and that's an understatement), but I know that Levi has more than his share of love and security and that's all that really matters. He has a warm place to sleep, family who love him to death, and the necessities of life...and then some, too. We may not be able to give him all the things that the kids down the street or his friends at school have, but Clay and I do the best we can, and he will never be short on love. I never feel like he is shortchanged on anything. We've also decided that starting next Christmas, we will make it a yearly tradition that before Santa visits, Levi is to gather up all the toys he no longer plays with and we will donate them. We will also do some kind of volunteer work so that he can meet others who are truly in need and learn appreciate all his blessings.

Poor Levi was all over the map this Christmas. On the 23rd we went to Clay's grandpa's house in Culver City. A lot of his grandpa's wife's side of the family is vegan and vegetarian, so we had tofurkey sandwiches. That's right, "turkey" sandwiches with tofu. I must admit, I was skeptical...soy bean curd isn't exactly my idea of a scrumptious meal. But they actually weren't bad! In general I don't really care for tofu unless it's so mixed in with other ingredients that you can't even tell it's there, like chili or something like that. And I don't mind soy milk. But in a sandwich, the meat is usually the nucleus, the star of the show. So I was a little scared.
I loaded up my sandwich with lots of spicy mustard, avocado, and pesto, and it was pretty tasty! I'm glad I put my picky eating habits aside and tried it. Maybe I should give tofu a little more credit.

The next day was Christmas Eve. We went to my grandma's house in Yorba Linda. Levi was doing pretty well until my mom spooked him when she yelled to my cousin in the other room while holding him. Poor little guy cried and cried, I think he was just already overstimulated and in a strange environment, so it took some time to get him settled back down. When we got back home we left some cookies and milk out for Santa Claus, got Levi in his Christmas jammies, and went to bed. Yeah, we're cheesy like that.

The next morning...surprise!! Santa had paid a visit and left some presents for the Levster - two new teething toys and a couple of outfits. It was so funny seeing him sitting in his bouncy chair watching us open his presents for him. I took a really funny video that I'll have to post another day, the battieries in the camera just died so I have to go buy some more before I can upload it. Clay and I both ended up getting eachother cameras - he got me a Diana lomography camera and I got him a digital camera. I haven't used a film camera in ages, but it will be fun to play around with. I miss the old days of anticipation when you had to wait til your film got developed to see how the pictures turned out! So much more fun opening that little cardboard envelope and sifting through the photos than all this digital instant gratification business :)

Ok, so Christmas day- here we go: After opening our presents at home, we went to my dad's house for a couple of hours, then scurried over to Clay's parents' house to open gifts, and then went to Clay's grandma's house in Fallbrook. All I gotta say is POOR LEVI. That little man got passed around from stranger to stranger sooo much in a span of three days. He was a pretty good sport about it! Next year Christmas should be a lot more fun for him.

After the craziness of X-mas was over, we got to settle down a bit. Now I'll admit, I really like New Year's Eve. I love the idea of dressing up, staying out late, drinking Champagne (my favorite) and welcoming a fresh new year with a smooch from the one you love. A lot of people think it's over hyped, and maybe it is, but I like it. It makes a new year seem so much more official. And it's a great excuse to be a little extravagant. New Year's with a New Baby however? Not as fun. Hate to say it. Clay and I didn't make any plans until the Eve. We tried to solicit/bribe someone to babysit, but it looked bleak. So we invited our friends Miles and Tatum over to make dinner and drinks, and at the last minute my mom offered to babysit, so we drove Levi to Gma's and went to a lame bar in Dana Point. After welcoming 2011 surrounded by Orange County's finest hoochies, we strolled over to Harbor House for some greasy french fries and nachos. You know, to soak up some of the alcohol. After a very fortunate hailing of a cab (which ended up being a LOT harder to come by than we planned), we paid the slightly outrageous fare (it was only five miles...FIVE! Why does it cost as much for a 5 mile ride home as it does to put 8 gallons of gas in my car?!) and crashed....only to be awoken 2 hours later by our favorite hungry baby. Woo hoo.

I didn't really make any New Year's resolutions until a few days into the new year, but here they are in no particular order:

1. Start doing Yoga again. Gotta get this belly pooch under control before summer! Plus, carrying around a 14 lb baby all day makes for some sore shoulders sometimes. On the plus side, I don't have to worry about working out my arms much!

2. Eat healthier. This is important not only because am I nursing, but Levi is about to start eating solids in a few months and I want to set a good example for him. We got a food processor for Christmas and I'll be making his baby food, so I should take the same care of myself, too.

3. Get a hobby. I don't want to be "that mom" who invests her whole identity in motherhood. I always thought that becoming a mother would make me feel like my life's purpose is completely fulfilled, but I don't. I'm still the same person! And I don't feel guilty for saying that. Levi is just sharing my life's purpose with me. I want him to see how much fun life can be. So I will start exploring my Diana camera, take up horseback riding again, learn how to cook, go hiking/walking, and maybe even have Clay re-teach me how to surf!

4. Get out more. I fell into a bad habit of becoming quite reclusive for the first couple months after having Levi, mostly because of the breastfeeding and sleeping difficulties. It was really hard to get the gumption to forsake potential napping opportunities and go visit friends or just go stroll around the mall. Buuut, like resolution #3, I need to still have a life outside of motherhood. I want to enjoy life and make the most of it. And I miss my friends!

5. Make an effort. It's kind of easy to be lazy when a little baby demands everything of you 24/7. It's easy to let the dishes pile up and say you'll get to them later, or let the laundry overflow in the hamper because you can always just wear pajamas, or skip blowdrying your hair because no one will see you anyway. I'm not saying I do these kinds of things on a regular basis, but the temptation is always there and sometimes I do indulge, which is ok once in awhile but not ok all the time. I must chant in the mirror "I will not become frumpy, I will not become frumpy". That oughta do it.

6. Find new music. It's hard to find inspiring bands these days, which is why I usually resort to my collection of tried and true standbys. But I'm getting pretty sick of my iPod, so it's time to find some new tunes. If anyone has suggestions, lay 'em on me!

And in other news, I cut my hair! I was horrified of looking like...well...a mom, but my post pregnancy hormones have my hair falling out in horrifying quantities and it was looking a bit scraggly. So I figured now's the time to chop off all the damaged ends and start growing it out again. No time like a new year!

Christmas pictures to come...we're off to the beach right now! Yay for January heat waves...just the thing to get us through winter :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Man, I really suck at this blogging thing. I always think of things I could write about, but sitting down and actually posting it seems to be quite a challenge these days. Anywho, my apologies to anyone who actually follows this poor blog! Since I didn't make many New Year's resolutions, maybe this should be one of them! I think it shall be.

Since Levi only has about 20 minutes left in his morning nap, I'll have to make this snappy.

Now, I go through phases of certain obsessions, and lately Kiehl's face moisturizer has been one of them. I've tried a few Kiehl's skin products before - hand cream, body lotion, and lip balm, but never anything on my face. My skin is a curious thing, I'll tell you. One minute it's an oil slick and the next it's supertightitchydry. Bleh. For this reason, finding skincare products that I can stick with is no easy task. Some cleanser that I love one month will suddenly make me break out the next. One moisturizer that keeps my face comfy will quickly seem to do nothing at all for my dryness.

But this I tell you, is pure magic - at least so far!

I slap some of this glorious cream on right out of the shower and my skin just drinks it up and LOOKS so much better right away. There's a big difference between just feeling better and actually looking better. Both are equally important in a moisturizer, I say. Now, since it is winter and my skin tends to be a little dryer, this stuff is perfect. But I may need to change it up as the warmer months approach, as it may be a little too heavy. I still get a tad bit oily toward the end of the day, but such is life. It happens with anything I've used. It's not the cheapest of moisturizers out there, but it's worth it. I need to stop using crappy products anyway. Especially since I'm in my mid-twenties. Ew. Time to start taking my skin care seriously now.

So yeah, I haven't posted in like 2 weeks, after 2 major holidays, and I do a post on moisturizer!! I promise I will do some Levi updates next time. Santa Claus came for the little munchkin's first Christmas and he LOVED the presents. :) Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/New Year's!

Oh and P.S., if you already have a face cream that you love, try Kiehl's Lip Balm #1. I hatehateHATE sticky lip glosses and balms so much that I usually just use Vaseline, but this is soooo much better! And at only $7 you can't go wrong!


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