Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jenn-tastic

When I first moved to Los Angeles in 2000, I had no friends other than Brent. He was a great support, of course, but what I really wanted were nearby girlfriends. I wanted friends who reminded me of my best gal pals, like Shelby. Ya know, the kind of friends who love the same things you do, make you laugh, and know just how to bring you up when you're down.

In the nine years I've lived here, I've found myself a few circles of girlfriends who fill that description quite nicely, but this post is in tribute to one gal in particular.

This one goes out to my pal, justJENN, who celebrates her birthday today.

You probably haven't seen her face as she doesn't post pics of herself anywhere online, but if you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, chances are you've seen me mention her at least once or twice and could very well be fans of her bloggy wit and baking goodness.

I'm one of the fortunate ones who HAS seen her face. It's usually accompanied by lovely baked goods, some thoughtful and perfect little gift, and sometimes one or two of her adorable little boys.

Jenn shares a lot of my taste in TV shows, and she was also floored when our pal, Jodi, invited us to the set of The Office a few years ago.
Me, Jenn and Jodi

We were giddy as could be. (Jodi - I still adore you for setting that up!)
Our visit to the set of The Office

It's no surprise that so many other LA bloggers love Jenn, too. Here we are at The Daily Randi's wedding to Michael, with our pal, Nina, almost a year ago.
At Randi's wedding

And you can imagine my glee when Jenn, party-planner extraordinaire, offered to throw me an amazing baby shower.
JustJENN and me

I thank the interweb for leading me to such a wonderful friend. And I thank Jenn for taking a chance and allowing me to prove that I'm not a crazy blogger stalker who'd shank her at the CPK in Marina Del Rey where we met for the first time. Instead I'm just a pal who's happy to find silly ways to conceal her identity.

Happy birthday, Jenn!

Michael Scott: Somebody got donuts for my birthday!
Toby: Happy birthday!
Michael: You didn't know it was my birthday.
Toby: I guess I forgot.
Michael Scott: Well I guess I forgot to give you a donut.
- The Office

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Serendipity

Starting next week I am no longer FUNemployed -- I've secured myself a wonderful gig working for one of my favorite mom-centric brands! It's part-time, I choose my own hours, and I get to work from home! But I already know that it's not going to feel like work. You know that adage, "Find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life"? That's gonna be me, I just know it!

While I've always been careful not to reveal my past employers on my wee blog, I have a feeling that it won't be too long before I tell you who is putting food on the table 'cuz it's a brand that all moms, moms-to-be, and gift-givers should know about. (And there are plenty of folks beyond those groups who could find the products useful, too.)

I'm trying to firm up some daycare plans for Em because her previous daycare is next to my old office and sadly geographically undesirable. I'm looking for something nearby, but it's hard because the old place set the bar so high. It was immaculate, the price was right and she was so great with Em. I'm sure there's a place out there -- it's just a matter of finding it.

"We have too many people who live without working, and we have altogether too many who work without living." - Charles R. Brown

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bounce and babble

Em apparently got the exersaucer and jumperoo confused. (Don't worry - when you become a parent, you'll learn the difference between the two.)

And here's a great example of how talkative Em is during every meal. Seriously, EVERY. MEAL. Not during the pureed portion, though -- just the finger foods courses.

By the way, teething biscuits from Whole Foods must be made from stucco or something. Once moistened by slobbery, teething baby, they spread all over everything and are impossible to remove. That's what's all over her bib and face and arms and high chair.

"Angelina Jolie was on. And she adopted a baby from Asia, and she said that it changed her life. And that really inspired me. So, I want you to look into seeing how much a little Chinese baby would cost." - Michael, The Office

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chompin' at the bit

After a long and drooly 10 months, Em's first two teeth have finally broken through her gummy smile. When she started her 3-bibs-a-day habit at 2 months, I braced myself for an early teether. But it turns out that her massive drooling was not necessarily an indication of her pending teeth. And honestly, I'm quite happy that her teeth decided to take their sweet time as I was (and still am) fearful of accidental bites at the most inopportune time. We're rounding the final corner of our nursing time as we approach our year-mark, so I'm hoping I won't have to endure much, if any, bites on my bits.

Check out the teeth!
Teef

Moments after we discovered that her teeth had broken through, Em decided to surprise us by pulling up using her baby jail, letting go and then standing unassisted for a couple seconds! The very next morning she did it again but while lounging with us in our bed! And now she's cruising -- moving between pieces of furniture while carefully holding on. Ca-ray-zay!

Our sweet girl is growing up so fast!

"Hi there!"

Teef

"I never smile if I can help it. Showing one's teeth is a submission signal in primates. When someone smiles at me, all I see is a chimpanzee begging for its life." - Dwight, The Office

Friday, August 07, 2009

A perfect 10

Wednesday's 10-month photos with Em were our most rushed yet. Brent got home from work moments before Em's 7 o'clock bedtime. (Can't do these photos without an Em "spotter.") And during the shoot she insisted on grabbing the blocks while rocking back and forth in glee in the nursery rocking chair. Remind me again who decided to use a ROCKING CHAIR for monthly photos. Oh, yeah - it was me. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose.

So now you know why there are just a few viable photos. Baby Em is on the go, my friends!

10mo

10mo7

10mo2

At 10 months, Em is an eating machine. She could eat her body weight in string cheese, avocado, bananas and Puffs, if given the opportunity. I still make about 75% of her baby food purees, which I've enjoyed. (I have to use the pre-made stuff when we're out and about.)

Apparently Em's fueling up for her brute strength. She's suddenly obsessed with my glasses! I can't carry her without her lunging for my specs. She's also inadvertently pinching me a lot. It's usually while she's using me as leverage to pull herself up, but she also does it a lot while nursing. And baby talons are sharp! Hoping she outgrows this phase soon.

She's babbling up a storm. I'm fairly certain that when she says "mama," she's talking about me. Recently she's been saying, "Na-na-na-na," which I'm trying to convert to "Na-na-Nanette!" Heh. She says "dada" quite a bit when Brent's around, too.

We're fortunate that Em continues to be a great baby to take out. (She tends to save her tantrums for the privacy of our own home.) She's such a ham and loooooves interacting with other people. She regularly stops people in their tracks with a wave, smile and slight turn of the head. Today we were playing in the play area of the local mall's food court. Instead of crawling around and climbing on all the fun toys like the other kids, Em insisted on making eye contact with all the nearby adults so they could return her smiles and waves. (They were all happy to oblige, of course.)

We were shopping at a local Steve Madden shoe store recently, and Em was a huge hit. They made us promise to bring her back to visit the sales staff, who wanted to do nothing more than fawn all over her. Brent joked, "Too bad we couldn't cash in on some of her cuteness for a discount on these shoes I just bought." If Em's sweetness were currency, we'd be Bill Gates.

"Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life."
- Burton Hills

Monday, August 03, 2009

Water world

We finally took Em swimming for the first time yesterday in my in-laws' heated pool.

"This ain't too bad!"

I'd like to say it was all sunshine and smiles...
Happier

But...
Even the floatie can't help

...much of the time was spent like this:
Not so much

She's not quite a fan of the water yet, but I have no doubt that she will be someday soon.

"Feel the fear and do it anyway."
- Susan Jeffers