"when all your desires are distilled; you will cast just two votes: to love more, and be happy" -hafiz

Monthly Archives: February 2014

hus and I watched this movie the other week called “the best exotic marigold hotel” and in it was a great quote from the hilarious Indian hotel owner:

everything is alright in the end. if it is not alright, it is not yet the end.

I like this as a life motto.

Anyway!

Today was annoying. Snow decided to come during the exact hours I was supposed to be driving to the new mom’s group. If it were super close by I would have gone, but it’s a good 20 min away and involves driving on a super curvy, narrow road that has a 25 mph speed limit yet everyone drives 60. no joke. So hafiz and I stayed home. Blah. I hate you, winter. I need to move somewhere you don’t exist.

The silver lining is that hafiz napped wonderfully today, three hour-long naps in his bed and then one in the ergo on a long walk with me outside. (because after the snow stopped the sun came out actually. Still cold winds though.) He has been rocking naps like this for about a week? 2 weeks? now. I almost always take a walk with him for the last nap of the day though because it’s the most difficult one for him to go down for. Plus I desperately need the exercise and fresh air.

Oh! Good news on the swaddle front. I’ve started doing one arm out and he’s still sleeping 11 hrs straight. Progress!! I dreamt last night that hafiz was crying. So I woke myself up at 5am to a silent hafiz. Silly brain. I think the sun is what wakes him because 7am is always the magic time and that’s when his room gets quite light. Another reason I’m stressing about daylight savings. Oh wait that means he’ll sleep in more though. Never mind! Nights are the questionable territory. Hmmm.

Is it weird that I talk to hafiz out loud the entire time we are out walking, even though he is fast asleep? I pour my heart out. Hus and I had gotten in a bit of an argument this morning and on the walk I talked it over with hafiz and realized that hus actually made a good point.

Ugh this is so what happens when your adult interactions pretty much vanish.

I think I am feeling stressed because there is no big, life-altering change on the horizon. I thrive on that. All last year it was the baby. Year before that, getting married and moving to the beach. Before that, moving to Mexico. And so on. I’ve always had a big change coming up that weirdly centered me.

Ahh this Friday is the 28th! AKA one year anniversary of finding out I was pregnant!

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Hafiz with the only toy he’s interested in.

Some really exciting things have been happening with hus’s our business (i do very very little for the business but hus always corrects me when I refer to it as his) but, unfortunately, that means hus is super busy and I see him only at 8 or 9pm once hafiz is asleep and I’m exhausted, dreading the fact I have to stay up until 10 to pump because I just want to sleep.

I really hate pumping.

I really love sleep!

Okay in lieu of having a big life change I will just remind myself of awesome things coming up:

• Kari’s little baby boy will be born in about a month! ahh!

• trip to the bay in less than a month!

• warmer temperatures… At some point… RIGHT?!

• my book will be for sale in ~2 weeks (fingers.crossed.)

That’s all I can think of. Oh, giving hafiz solid food! Really excited for that.

Oh no I’m about to end on a depressing note but a text from my aunt reminded me. My grandma fell down last week and has been in the hospital since, not doing great. I send many pictures and videos of hafiz daily to encourage her since that was her one request in the hospital. My grandma is the best. Please send healthy thoughts her way.

Gotta call my aunt. Hasta pronto. Xo

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just laying here listening to H struggle to fall asleep. ugh. No fun.

Feeling super blah today.

Was up way too late last night picking up Hus at the airport, not getting home until past 2am. To keep myself awake I ate a ridiculous amount of ice cream.

Speaking of ice cream, the chocolate coconut milk ice cream from trader joe’s is AMAZING. Also, the tamales they sell are honestly better than the tamales in Mexico. Trader joe’s might be what’s keeping me in the US. Just kidding. Or am I?

Hafiz played the piano today and it was basically the cutest thing ever, watching him realize that touching the keys made sounds.

Even though today was fairly chilly, I put H in his snow suit and we walked to whole foods. I rarely venture there these days as it’s too overpriced, but I ran out if argan oil which is pretty much the only essential item I have in my pathetic beauty regimen. Omg it just took me ten tries to spell regimen correctly. I’m seriously starting to wonder if I’m intelligent enough now to return to work.

My brain has been forever changed by motherhood. I have new intelligences now, for sure, but am not sure how that will translate in the classroom.

I wonder why the easier it has become to get H down for naps, the harder it is to get him down at night. He keeps pushing his bedtime back which makes me scared for daylight savings. Also, everything I read says bedtime should be naturally getting earlier so what gives?

Okay I think he finally stopped struggling. Please be asleep. Here’s a picture from after our whole foods walk.

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I’m feeling much more upbeat today! I apologize for yesterday’s grouchiness. I’ve come to realize that my mood is very much dictated by the weather. Today there is SUN thus my disposition is sunny.

My best friend in college was happiest when it rained. WHAT. And we were in NYC where rain is truly the worst because you need to walk everywhere and taxi cabs zip by and splash you and then your umbrella inverts because of the wind. There were always the saddest umbrella corpses scattered about the sidewalks post-storm. Then you need to go into a bodega and buy an overpriced shitty one.

Anyway! Last night hafiz was a lil angel for grandma and took the bottle and went to sleep. All through dinner with Emily I was looking at my phone expecting my frantic mother to call. Thank you hafiz for cooperating. He was also pretty darling to em before we went out:

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Hafiz has been solid with naps today and I will avoid the trauma induced by the dreaded evening nap by taking a walk with him shortly instead. I need vitamin d.

I really want to do baby sign language. What age do you think it’s appropriate to start? I should probably take a class because I don’t learn well via online video.

I died laughing this morning when I read about the Girl Scout making record cookie sales outside a pot dispensary. Ha! So good. That girl is brilliant.

Hus called from Colorado last night and literally said, “I don’t miss you but I really miss hafiz.” And I wasn’t even hurt I just said yup, that’s about right. I can’t imagine being away from Feez for more than a few hours. I can handle being away from hus for awhile though, no problem 🙂

Okay I’m off to walk. Hope you are having a great weekend!


so it all started with an article in vanity fair magazine that I read about a trendy parenting style that is particularly popular in LA right now. my immediate thought, after reading the first paragraph, was ugh, enough!! because after spending the past few months reading the 5 million different views out there on feeding, sleeping, teaching and entertaining your baby, my brain had shut down and being a mom ceased to be enjoyable. i did NOT need to read about another parenting style that was likely going to tell me I’ve been doing everything wrong

But I read the article anyway, because it was only two pages long and, well, I was curious. And something unexpected happened. I found nearly 95% of the article resonating with me, and making me feel better — not worse!! — about my parenting decisions thus far. I felt relieved.

The parenting style is called RIE and while I certainly don’t agree with everything they preach, most of it just makes so much sense. I read the book Baby Knows Best to get a better idea of what they’re all about.

The RIE approach is actually very similar to the Montessori method, in that they’re all about babies and children being self-motivated and independent. They view even the littlest babies as intelligent and capable of learning new things. However, while the Montessori book made me anxious about parenting (they are super particular about what kind of mobiles, clothes, toys, etc babies are given – so intimidating and rigid!) the RIE one made me feel like, oh yeah, that sounds simple and intuitive and awesome!!

I’ll give some examples of things from the RIE book that I liked and put into action immediately. Some I had been doing already but reading about them made me more conscious and purposeful about it:

•giving hafiz a heads up when I’m going to do something to him. “I’m going to pick you up now” or “I’m going to brush your hair” rather than coming out of nowhere without warning.

•narrating basic activities and going slowly. Like when I change him I don’t just rush, I go through every step “I’m unsnapping you pajamas” “this wipe will be really cold” and he usually is looking into my eyes and really paying attention the whole time.

•not interrupting. this is a big montessori thing, too. If hafiz is, for instance, staring at the ceiling fan, I don’t put a toy in his face or call his name – I just let him finish whatever he’s doing.

•leaving him be. This was the most freeing realization for me. Every single little thing is new, interesting and exciting to a baby. I don’t need to entertain him. He is learning so much just by lying on a blanket and kicking his legs around, looking around the room. It’s actually good to just leave them alone (as long as it’s a safe place of course) to take things in and discover their world and their body on their own. No toy, mobile, etc is even necessary – especially at hafiz’s age. Putting one toy in his reach that he can choose to touch if he wants is enough. He rarely does, though. Right now he much prefers his own hands.

•letting babies express their emotions. If we never let our baby cry, they will think it’s not okay to show that emotion, be it sadness, frustration, exhaustion, etc. I used to think it was my job to prevent H from crying at all costs. Now that I let him cry without letting my anxiety rise, I feel better equipped to decipher his cry and help with the root cause. And sometimes I have no freaking idea why he is crying! So I literally tell him, “hafiz I’m really not sure why you are upset but I’m trying to help.”

•focusing on him. when I’m feeding him or changing him, I’m not multi- tasking. I am giving him my full
attention and acknowledging him.

•not putting a baby in a position they can’t naturally get in and out of yet. this makes sense because if you force a baby to sit up, for example, when they can’t yet, they aren’t safely able to get back down and it’s really not helping them learn faster. This is another reason I stopped tummy time. I realized hafiz was always unhappy when I put him in a position unnatural to him – he’s much more content if he gets there on his own (ie, now when he rolls on his side).

•observe! this is suuuuuper montessori as well, and I couldn’t agree more. Watch your baby and see exactly how they interact with different things, to see what makes them smile or laugh, or cry. When in doubt, just observe. When hafiz used to cry I would react before actually looking, listening and thinking. It has been enormously helpful to just observe him. I have learned so much about him and understand his cues far better now. And there are still moments when I’m clueless but I try to just calmly observe first and then try to find a solution. I also just love watching him play alone (aka lay on a blanket alone, that is the extent of him playing) because he does all these fascinating little movements, sounds, focused staring, etc. sometimes I lay down next to him to try to see the world as he does. How fun is that to imagine? And it makes me realize how easy it is for a baby to become over stimulated. Everything is just SO overwhelming and new and incredible!

While those were a few of the things that really resonated with me, there were definitely aspects of the approach that I’m not on board with.

•pacifiers. They are anti-paci, as is montessori, and while I understand their issues with it, I still personally find it very useful and not detrimental to hafiz’s development. They think pacifiers are a tool adults use to silence a baby trying to express emotion. They think babies’ urges to suck should be handled themselves, using their thumb if desired. However, for us, the paci is working. If that was the only way he could self-soothe, sure, that wouldn’t be good. But I find the way we’re using the paci right now (sometimes he uses it for naps and often to go down at night) to be no big deal. He spits it out and stays asleep. My only rule is that if I put it in three times and he doesn’t keep it and doesn’t fall asleep then I just let him fuss bec I refuse to play the paci game all nap time (or bedtime).

•baby-wearing. RIE is against wearing your baby which I really don’t agree with. I mean, you obviously shouldn’t be wearing your baby 24/7 since they need to be moving and discovering on their own. But for transportation and to sooth fussiness I think it’s the most natural thing in the world. I love it and hafiz does, too.

•swaddling. They are anti-swaddle (so is montessori) and honestly, I get it. It’s very restrictive, sure. But it also helps hafiz get the rest he needs, he seems soothed by it, so I see nothing wrong with it. It’s not appropriate to do forever and I should probably decide on a time to transition out and actually follow through, but for the early months I think it’s great.

•picking up your baby. Okay this part I actually laughed out loud because it’s insane. The book basically says to only pick your baby up with them horizontal and never vertical. Uh, what? First of all, often after hafiz eats he needs to be held vertically otherwise he screams in discomfort. Also, a baby should be allowed to see the world vertically. I just think this is too extreme and weird.

I think that covers it. I mostly focused on the part of the book that related to infants, but the parts about raising a toddler were very interesting as well and I will definitely be re-reading when Hafiz becomes the willful and energetic little guy that I foresee in our future.

Oh and since a post without a picture is just depressing, here ya go:

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Hands moving, as always.


Hafiz and I are in a stand off right now. He is straight up refusing to nap and I’m just watching him writhe around in his bed making little noises. He isn’t even crying (yet) just talking and at this point he’s kept himself up so long that he will soon be hungry. So who will break down first? Will I turn on the lights and feed him? Will he pass out? Time will tell.

Oh well. We had a great morning, anyway. He literally slept 8pm-8am last night. WHAT?! I was in there at 7am of course listening to his breathing. And then he took a long nap in the morning and another shorter one after that. But for his third nap he freaked out. I thought something was seriously wrong so I stripped him down (always my first impulse lol) and held him and then he smiled. wtf. Nursed a little. And that brings us to now and he’s still being his wide awake self. Oh man here are the tears. I have a feeling he’ll win this round. I’m especially nervous because I’m going out tonight and my mom is supposed to put him to sleep even though he has been rejecting bottles. Ahhh.

Okay hafiz wins. I’m just considering this nap skipped. Hopefully I’ll get him down once more before I go out. Too bad the weather sucks because id love to walk outside. Grrr. I can’t deal with having winter, I really can’t. Today it’s ugly rain. Basically the most depressing weather ever. I can’t deal. Hus really wants to move back to the bay but I told him I will only consider it if he finds a job that pays 6 figures which has a zero percent chance of happening so basically the answer was no.

Sighhh. I have a headache. Please let my mom be a magical baby whisperer. Let my milk not taste gross to hafiz.

Hmm I think Feez’s belly is what kept him up. It just made a crazy sound.

Happy Friday!!! Love!


I have a lot of random baby-related questions tonight.

1. Do I have to worry about water going into hafiz’s ears in the bathtub? Is that what causes ear infections?

2. When will I have to cut his toenails? They don’t seen to be growing, really.

3. Why do I have soooo many 0-3 month outfits and about zero 3-6 month ones?!

4. Why are the girl clothes at Baby Gap 5 million times cuter than the boy stuff?!

5. How do so many babies say “mom” or “mama” as their first word? I don’t feel like hafiz ever hears mama because he’s always with me and I don’t speak in third person. I’m sincerely confused by this.

6. Is it okay or confusing for me to speak to Feez in Spanish? I couldn’t commit to doing it all the time (and I know that’s ideal for a kid to be bilingual) but is it okay for like an hour every day to randomly speak in Spanish?

7. Do all babies suck on their feet at some point? I feel like a lot of my friends’ babies play with their feet and hafiz had never touched his.

8. Will my boobs gradually get smaller as hafiz eats less (once he starts solids) or will they stay more or less this size until he weans entirely?

9. What should I do about bedtime when daylight savings happens?! I don’t want him going to bed an hour later!!

10. Why do other new moms seem to have the ability to shower/wear decent clothes/brush hair/apply make up daily while I still struggle with accomplishing any of those things? (Ahem ahem Lindsey and Pris)

11. Why was hafiz still refusing to fall asleep at 10pm yesterday while tonight he was out easily by 8pm?! so unpredictable this kid.

12. How do other people deal with their baby’s neck folds? I wash them every morning and night and put on coconut oil but there are still red lines that look irritated. Poor hafiz and his multiple chins!!!

Okay no more questions.

Today I snapped a picture of hafiz balancing on his side during our beloved naked time:

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The good thing is that he is still able to do this with his huge cloth diapers on. His diapers doubled in size today because I realized I need to start doubling up on inserts. Sigh. at least I can now get away with changing him slightly less often because he has literally three layers of absorption going on.

Today was a nice one. Hafiz took lots of small naps. I bought those presents for the two new babies in Chicago and mailed ’em. I made lactation cookies and threw those amazing choc covered sunflower seeds into the mix. I did a little yoga. I talked to Pris on skype and got to meet her adorable little man (who seems far more chill than hafiz!!). I took a brief walk with H. And I gave him a bath because the spit up situation is making him a hot mess.

Husein is flying to Colorado right now to snowboard with his bro for three days. some life he has there!!! And I have to pick him up at the airport at 1am Sunday night. Not pleased about that. I cherish my sleep. Whatever, I get to spend my weekend with the best baby in the world and hus will surely be missing him the entire time.

Ok I am off to watch Weeds and pump before bed. I feel like I’ve been watching Weeds forever because I have. No one told me it had 8 seasons!!

Love love love.


can’t handle a coherent, focused post tonight (as if I ever can!) so I’m falling back on my tried and true list-of-random-thoughts format.

•I took ZERO pictures of hafiz today. First time ever. how is that even possible? Here’s one from a few days ago, to give you your fix:

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•ventured out into the pouring rain this AM for the new mom’s group. Got some advice regarding the leaking cloth diapers and hafiz rejecting the bottle. One mom thought I might have excess lipase in my milk which makes it taste soapy after storing. I reaaallly hope this isn’t the case but now I’m investigating.

•how did I not eat meat for so many years? Just had brisket for dinner and it was insanely delicious.

•btw the chocolate covered sunflower seeds from TJ’s are amazing. Best impulse buy ever!

•hafiz has started rolling from his back to his side and just hanging out there, balancing. I bet he’ll get the full roll going soon!

•purposely didn’t do anything regarding job search today. #denial

•back to those choc covered sunflower seeds… My new dessert is chocolate coconut milk ice cream, melted sunflower seed butter and the choc covered seeds. OMG. It’s a salty sweet explosion of deliciousness. I’m a genius. I shall call it Sunflower Sundae when I open my ice cream shop one day.

•didn’t exercise today = not feeling my best. instead of exercise I napped next to hafiz from 2:30-4:00. sometimes a nap wins. Might do like 20 min of yoga before bed. Or eat a sunflower sundae. Or both.

•I really need to mail gifts tomorrow to our two friends in Chicago who just had babies. I’m so bad with timeliness w things like this.

•I love sleep. And water. Don’t we all?

•IS IT SPRING YET?!?!

•I need to put something new in hafiz’s mobile. He can see color now, right?

•I made an acupuncture appointment for Friday. Wishful thinking. Need to cancel because hus is going to Colorado and won’t be able to watch hafiz. Boo.

•Feez and I actually have an unprecedented number of plans this weekend. Not sure if we’ll really be able to do it all though.

•I found an awesome halo fleece swaddle sleep sack (size 3-6 months) in this forgotten drawer of the nursery and it works perfectly!! Oh yeah, definitely still swaddling at night. Haven’t even considered another trial run without it.

•hafiz has been having such good days recently… I just want to press pause because I know another developmental shift/vaccine/full moon/teething will throw it off soon.

•I love breastfeeding. I’m so happy I persevered through those painful days in the beginning because now it’s incredibly convenient, free and painless. Plus I love the snuggly closeness of it. Brings such nice rhythm and pause to the day.

okay enough scattered thoughts for one night. Have I mentioned how much I love being a mom? Because I really, really do. Much love.