Thirty Three

Today I turn thirty three. As I sit in the basement at work, pumping in my windowless dungeon, I can’t help but to look back on the last year….and hold back the tears.

The last year was a bit of a whirlwind for me. Adelaide was born exactly one week after my thirty second birthday. Recovering from a third birth, and at a much older age than the last two, proved much harder than I could have imagined. This time around I found it hard to do anything. I almost passed out my first time out to the grocery store! I had to hire a lactation consultant because Adelaide wouldn’t latch on one side. And, I had the baby blues (not to be confused with the more serious postpartum depression).

But I also got to spend six months with my baby girl. AND, since I was home during part of the summer, I got time with Brody and Layla too! It was so nice having all three of my kids together so often. Once I was feeling better, about 3 months postpartum, I didn’t stop doing things.

We went to museums, parks, the beach, Disneyland. I spent time with old friends and got closer with new friends that I think are lifers (shout out to Jackie, Josh and Brianna). My bestie taught me how to crochet, and we started a business based on our shared love of the craft….which I can’t wait to unveil on 4.4.16!

Then, I went back to work. I struggled. A lot. Leaving Adelaide with strangers at a daycare was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I cried in my basement dungeon at work for MONTHS; the real reason why I never wore make-up. But I got through it. And I’ve done some really cool things since returning. Things I am so proud of. Things I tell Layla and Brody just to see the giant smiles on their faces. Because they’re proud of their mama.

This year was hard, happy and one not to be forgotten. I’m glad it’s over though. And looking forward to seeing what thirty three has to offer.

Mini Pom Pom Animals

Pom Pom, Animals, Legos, Duplos, Farm, Pig, Piggy, Sheep, Goat, DIY, Pinterest

Micha’s Pom Pom Piggy

You know I love to crochet. And I utilize Pinterest for most of my addiction fixes. Well one day while searching for more crochet patterns to add to my ever-growing Pinterest boards, I stumbled upon the cutest of all cute DIY crafts: mini pom pom animals!

Mini Pom-Pom Pets by April Chorba

Mini Pom-Pom Pets by April Chorba

For Christmas this year I was lucky enough to be gifted Mini Pom-Pom Pets by April Chorba; complete with everything you need to make 20 or so mini pom pom animals of your own. So of course, Christmas night, I just had to bust open the box and make one of my own!
The pattern itself is really easy and not much of a pattern really. If you know how to make a pom pom, you’re pretty much set.

 

  1. Make sure you have everything you need to get started:
    Susan Bates Easy Wrap Pom Pon Maker
    Worsted Weight Yarn in the color of your choice
    Small Craft Scissors
    Ruler or Measuring Tape
    Small Beads (for the eyes)
    White Glue
    Felt or Paper (for ears, nose and tail)
  2. Measure 144 inches of yarn and cut it in half. Set both strands aside. Then measure 12 inches of the same yarn and set that strand aside.
  3. Wrap your first long strand around pieces A and B of your smallest (white) pom pon maker. Repeat this process on the second set of A and B pieces with the other long strand of yarn.
  4. Join both A and B sets of the pom pon maker together, forming a complete circle.
  5. Cut the yarn between pieces A and B. I promise, it will be fine. I was totally nervous too the first time I did this.
  6. Wrap the 12 inch strand around your newly cut pieces of yarn. Tie a very right knot. Then tie another knot on the other side of the ball. Tie one more on this second side…just in case.
  7. Remove all 4 white pom pon pieces.
  8. Your pom pom looks awkward. This is completely normal. Much like a newborns misshapen head. Cut all of the longer strands so that they are the same length as other strands.
  9. Shape your pom pom using your fingers. Then, while looking down at your pom pom, use your scissors to create a cricle. Then just trim the rest of the ball so that everything is the same length.
  10. Congratulations, you have a mini pom pom.
  11. Glue on your animals features, always starting with the nose to use as a reference point. For the pig pictured, I used the paper nose, ears and tail and two beaded eyes from Chorba’s kit.

See? Easy peasy. Now you can create your very own Mini Pom Pom Animals farm, zoo or jungle!

Be sure to share your creations in my comments section below!

Pom Pom, Animals, Legos, Duplos, Farm, Pig, Piggy, Sheep, Goat, DIY, Pinterest

Final Farewell

Like most 30 somethings my age, this morning we were left reeling after hearing the news that Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots fame had passed away at the age of 48.
ScottIt was no secret that Scott had drug addiction problems, but of all the celebrity junkies out there, I was really rooting for Scott to get clean. He was such an amazing lyricist and front man. And the world will never know a new song by him. So depressing….
After I heard the news, the folks on The Woody Show over at ALT 98.7 here in Los Angeles played Scott’s songs all morning; the one morning I was grateful for The Show Killer’s 4 song an hour rule. They encouraged listeners to take to social media and share their favorite STP song. Because let’s face it. There are a lot of mind blowingly good songs to choose from.
As I thought back to them all, the one that constantly kept coming front of mind was “Lady Picture Show.” The lyrics, the music, the video. It has got to be one of my favorites. Definitely in my top 10 fave songs of all time.

I also love “Creep.” I mean, first it’s a great song. But I mostly love it because I introduced my mom to STP with that song. I must have been 15 or so when we were driving in the car and “Creep” came on. My mom mentioned that she liked it and asked if the singer used to be fat. You know, cuz he’s “half the man he used to be.” I just about died laughing.

I’m lucky enough to say that I had the pleasure of seeing Scott perform once about 6 or 7 years ago at the Hollywood Bowl. He seemed to be doing well, and at the moment, I believe was clean.

scott on stage

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts perform at Cervantes on Feb. 24, 2015. Photos by Michael McGrath

He shared a beautiful moment on stage with his daughter that I will always remember. I will remember that part of him. The part that wanted to try. The part that didn’t give in; give up.
Scott, you will be missed and mourned by many. This is a final farewell to you. May you rest in peace.

What Happened to Thanksgiving?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen and heard things that make me wonder what happened to Thanksgiving. As a child, I always looked forward to this holiday. Not for the food (I hate Turkey Day food), but rather for the time to reflect on what matters most to me. And to be thankful for those things.
But this year, it seems most have skipped right over Thanksgiving and gone strait to Christmas! ef04f779cd7f475526a590fe1593b047
For example, I was in Target on November 1. I figured I’d get some fall decorations for the house. So I headed to the seasonal section of the store, which the day before had been overrun by Halloween costumes. To my dismay and horror, there wasn’t a single fall/Thanksgiving decoration in sight. Not a wreath or a cornucopia. Not even a fake turkey to stake in my front yard! Instead, the Target Elfes had transformed this section of the store into a winter wonderland over night.
The following week, I was flipping through stations on the radio and KOST was already playing Christmas songs. That’s fine and dandy, but you better believe this mama isn’t tuning in until November 27.
Speaking of black friday. What the hell America? The obsession we have with buying shit we don’t really need is appalling. LAist posted an article where a man was interviewed in front of a Best Buy. By Friday, he will have been camped out there for 8 days! 8 days people!!! No Thanksgiving. No family. Just his new tv for $150. I hope it makes you happy sir. Because it just pisses me off. That is the type of thinking and behavior that is destroying this holiday.
share_defaultI do have to give mad props to companies like REI who are opting out of Black Friday this year; closing all their stores and paying employees for the day off. REI even started a trend with the hashtag #optoutside. It’s really picked up, with certain parks offering free admission on Friday. This kind of thinking gives me the warm fuzzies inside. We need to get back to the human level. It’s not about material things. It’s about love and happiness. And all the joys in life to be thankful for.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
What-happened-to-Thanksgiving

Confessions of a Working Mom: No Time

I literally have no time for anything anymore since coming back to work.  No time to write.  No time to read.  No time for a glass of wine.  Etc. etc. etc.  It’s why I haven’t been active on this blog in the last 2.5 months.  My time is devoted to work, laundry, baby food, dirty diapers and children’s athletics.  I love these things, but it’s draining.

I do miss the days of being able to curl up with a good book and glass of red wine.  Getting lost in the pages.

I miss taking time to write out my frustrations and worries.  So that they don’t get bottled up inside.  Waiting for the pressure to release in a volcanic explosion.

I miss being able to drop everything so I can go to a last minute invite to a concert or play.

I miss taking time for myself.

And, most of all, I miss having time to sleep.

Kids are great, and I wouldn’t change anything about my life, but I do miss the little things sometimes.  But mostly just sleep.

As I sit and read the last post I wrote, I feel discouraged.  I can’t even take my own advice.  Being a mom is awesome.  But I haven’t taken care of myself too.  I have been so focused on the needs of others (kids, work, husband), that I forgot my own.  Hopefully two months from now, I’ll look back and be thankful I found some time for myself.

I am a working mom and these have been my confessions.

Confessions of a Working Mom: Reflecting on Life

Yesterday, two news anchors in Virginia were tragically shot to death on air because a crazy ex-coworker felt it necessary to play god.  In the last 24 hours since hearing about this, I have been reflecting on life.

Someone connected to news crew took to social media to say something along these lines: We send our family to war and worry about them and hope they’ll come home. We send them out to do a news story on tourism and never think twice about it.  That got me thinking about how short life is.  And how meaningless just about everything we do is.

I know lots of people who are “married to….work, their car, money, music, etc.”  They have family, but they push it off because, well, they think they’ll always have tomorrow for that.  But tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us.  The rest of today isn’t for that matter.  Take some time today to think about that.  Call your loved ones (yes, pick up the damn phone instead of texting), and tell them how you feel.  Just in case you don’t get the opportunity later.

Think about what you truly believe about life and what happens after.  Take it seriously.  I grew up in the Christian church.  I’ve gone through periods in my life where I questioned my faith, but I’ve always made my way back to it.  Even though I am only a casual church attendee, G and I are on good terms.  Of this I am sure.  Whatever you believe, make sure that you are SURE to.  It took me years, more than half my life, to get  to that point.

Do things you truly enjoy and don’t let anyone hold you back from that.  I

"The Tree of Life" Photo by Micha Boxer.

“The Tree of Life”
Photo by Micha Boxer.

haven’t been the most awesome at doing this 100%.  I need to get better.  I need to take a trip to AZ, my favorite place on Earth.  I need to go on a cruise.  I need to read more books and take time to discover new music.  I need to see more theatre; not just what we have at work.

I encourage you to reflect on these things.  To reflect on your own lives.  Figure out whats important to you.  What matters most.  And then live your life in a way that reflects those things.  And hug your little ones a little tighter.

I am a working mom and these have been my confessions.

Hipster Slouch Beenie

While I was out on maternity leave, a good friend of mine taught me how to crochet.  I took to it with ease and have been crocheting up a storm!  One of Hipster Slouch Beenie Side ViewHipster Slouch Beenie Back Viewmy first projects was the “Jenny Slouch Hat” which I have dubbed the “Hipster Slouch Beenie.”  I mean, look at it.  It totally belongs on every head in Silver Lake and Los Feliz!

The pattern works up very fast, and is super easy to make.  Be sure to keep your stitches loose on the single crochets, or it will be too tight.  I made one for myself and one for Layla.  For Layla’s version, I kept to the pattern, but for mine, I had to add a little room as I not only have a large head, but I have a crap ton of hair too!  Modifications are easy enough on this one.

Hipster Slouch Beenie Front ViewTwins

Little Monkey Crochet is the author of this pattern which can be found on their site by clicking HERE.  For this pattern, I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn in Claret Heather (Knit Picks makes the BEST heathers).  Find this yarn (and a huge selection of others) HERE.

Post your modifications, photos and/or links to your finished beenie in the comments!  I would love to see them.

Confessions of a Working Mom: Week One

I am a working mom and these are my confessions.

My first week back at work was rough.  Ha!  Understatement of the year.  It was beyond rough.  I didn’t wear any makeup.  Not because I didn’t want to,

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Crying eyes.

but because I couldn’t.  Not one day went by that I didn’t cry.  That I didn’t feel like a piece of myself was missing.  That I didn’t feel guilty for leaving my child with strangers in a strange place in the middle of Hollywood.

Adelaide can be a bit of a diva.  But over the last 6 months I’ve learned how to “handle” her.  Like her mama, she doesn’t like schedules.  She wants to eat when she’s hungry, sleep when she’s tired, and be changed the moment her diaper is soiled.  Can you blame her?  I would want the same thing.  Daycare makes that hard.  There are so many other kids they have to care for that Adelaide isn’t getting the one on one attention she needs.  They have been trying to force a schedule that she doesn’t want, and so she refuses to eat.  She doesn’t sleep as long as she does at home either.  And it crushes me!

I’m mad at myself for living in a world where I have to work to survive.  But I also feel an enormous amount of guilt for loving my job and be excited about what I do.

For now, I guess I just have to live with the guilt, sadness and feeling of loss.  I hear it gets easier.  At this point in time, I’m not convinced.

I am a working mom, and these are my week one confessions.

Baby Wearing Ballet

I am a huge advocate for baby wearing, so when I heard that Kristen De Paula was hosting a baby wearing ballet class out of Bini Birth in Studio City, I knew I had to check it out.

Adelaide at Ballet 1During her last session, I signed up for the 4-part Wednesday series.  I’m so glad I did.  Not only does my body get a good workout, my soul does too as I get to wear my baby girl the entire time.  Fussy baby?  No worries.  It’s a class full of moms.  All of whom have had a fussy baby on their hands at some point.  I have even fed Adelaide during class right from my Mei Tai!

But is it a decent workout you ask.  Why yes.  Yes it is!  In fact, there are times when my legs are screaming at me to stop.  To give up.  But I just push through, and am always glad when I do.  Oh, you have no dance experience?  Psh.  I hadn’t taken a dance class since grade school when I signed up!  There is no judgement.  This class is for the beginner or the most experienced dancer.  It’s more about bonding with your baby, meeting new moms, and burning some calories in a fun and creative way.  It’s setup more like a cardio barre class than traditional ballet ballet class.Adelaide at Ballet 2

The next session starts this Wednesday, July 8th.  For you working moms out there, Saturday sessions are also available.  I’ll be joining that group next month when I start back at the Pantages.  The rates are very reasonable at $65 for Wednesday OR Sunday, and $100 for every Wednesday AND Saturday session.

For more information, or to register for a class, please click here to register.  Hope to see you there!

 

Anti-Social LA

The last month has been a bit crazy for me, and I’ve been a little distant. Frankly, I’ve been “so LA.” I’ve been anti-social.
DislikeLet’s face it. Have you ever noticed how anti-social LA is?  At times I think it may be on par with New York City (NEW YORK CITY?  In my best Southwestern accent…El Paso salsa commercial….Nevermind). I hate it. Until I notice myself doing the exact same thing.
I grew up 60 miles East of Los Angeles. In the Inland Empire. Say what you want about the I.E. but at least people make eye contact and smile at folks passing by. Walk down the sidewalks of LA, and you’re lucky if you get a half smirk after saying good morning to a passer-by. Going on a ride in an elevator? Don’t expect anyone to hold the door. It might get awkward if we have to ride together! Oh the horror…..
How did LA get like this? And why does it seem to rub off so easily on transplants? Oftentimes without them even knowing.
Be aware of how, well, rude you’re being Los Angeles! Wake up. Smile. Say hello or Good Afternoon. It won’t kill you. I promise. We all could use a little less social anxiety in our lives. I promise to try too.