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CASE STUDY: Teaching Baby to Sleep

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm

PROBLEM: So after my Paci Poll, I found that it is NOT normal that we have to wake up every 20-60min many nights to re-insert our DD’s precious paci. We have to tackle this or I will go nuts…nearly lost it last night. We have used this same method to solve other problems like to sleep on her own at 5days, in her own room at 7wk, and to fall asleep when put down awake at 15wk. (LO is now 16wk)

SOLUTION: At first we were going to start phasing it out when she’s awake, then naps, then nights, only using it to help her fall asleep. However, she is doing fine without it when awake, so we moved to not replacing it during her naps. Well, I now decided we are just going to go cold-turkey and only using it to fall asleep or if she’s sick or hurt or having a particularly bad day because she has already proven to be a really quick learner. (Thought it would be hard to move her from being rocked to sleep every time to falling asleep after being put down awake in bassinet and when she was ready, she did it on the first try and has ever since).

METHOD: After reading several baby sleep parenting books, we have kinda devised our own method…a mix of soothing by us, and CIO, and pick-up/put-down. We position her on her side to fall or get back to sleep so that her fingers are right in front of her face. When she cries for her paci, we go in and place a hand on her and shush her and jiggle her bassinet while she wails. If it gets out of control we pick her up, she immedietely stops crying and then put her down. Eventually she starts to quiet down in between wails and uses her fingers for soothing (we kinda guided them up there the first few times to show her). This continues until she falls asleep and every time she cries for her paci.So it’s kinda a CIO but we are right there with her to work through it so she doesn’t feel abandoned.

RESULTS: Going really well so far, but WOW so hard! She’s on her first nap with no paci…normally a 1.5-2.hr nap. She slept for 30min, then woke for paci. Took me 30min to get her back sleeping, she woke after about 15min, took about 20min to get her back down, woke after 15min and so one, now it only taked about 2-5min to get her back down. Nap is technically over, but trying to get her a lil more sleep since it’s been a traumatic nap haha! Dug out my womb-sounds bear from when she was first born because I got tired of shushing for 30min, but once the 45min cycle on that was done I just let it stay off (last thing I need is a womb-sound dependency lol). In just this 2hr nap, she’s gone from not understanding she should put and keep her fingers in her mouth to soothe…to putting them in right away once we come in and place a hand on her when she cries and falling asleep immedietely. So far, so good!

You are now a MILF.

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Ladies, huddle close. There is something I want you to be prepared for. Well you’re not going to be prepared for it regardless of what I tell you, just like nearly everything else having to do with motherhood, but let this serve as a hint at how drastic a change this new role can be. You’ve been home with your little one, getting settled in and zombie-ing your way through the exciting whirlwind of the first days with your new baby. You’re getting into it, you can do this mom thing – your baby is still alive, congratulations! You are taking a zillion pics with your camera AND camera phone and emailing them to friends and family, and uploading to Facebook as proof that you really are a mother now and really do have a baby. But still, I don’t think it really sinks in that you are a ‘mother’ and have a ‘child’ until you are out amongst the rest of society…just you and your babe…where you will, for the first time, truly feel the dramatic shift you have created for yourself with this new title.

For me, this moment I’m referring to crept up slowly, then hit me real hard…so hard there was a hormonal tear threatening to let loose from my left eye. I was at the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills about a week after the birth of my baby. We were strolling around the mall together. I spent most of the trip smiling at how adorable my daughter looked in her stroller in the new pink and purple t-shirt dress I got for her on sale from Gymboree, and those eyes…those cheeks…those lips…that HAIR. Honestly, I don’t even know what I would have been shopping for, maybe cheap cloths from Forever 21, but more likely just as an excuse to get out of the apt.

I was waiting for the elevator and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a tall, black, male who most people would consider good looking. He kinda sorta looked at me, but not really…like a half-glance that would be given to any random person. It certainly wasn’t the same kind of look that I usually got from this breed of man. Then it hit me. I’m not just some chick walking around the mall. I am now a mom walking around the mall. It wasn’t something I could hide, since I was pushing my baby in her (super cute) stroller, diaper bag and all. I was transparently and obviously a mom; a new mom to be specific and I wasn’t surprised that tall-man didn’t look twice.

It really hit me hard, this new identity. I realized how foreign I felt to myself. But at the same time, it felt so comfortable…comforting actually. However, I did feel rather unsexy pushing a baby and sporting a “fresh from the delivery table, not yet fully-deflated” mom-bod. But not to worry, in the past few months, I definitely got my sexy back. I’ve been cat-called at and hit-on by various men in the past few months, while pushing the baby and sporting the mom-bod. And you know what that means don’t you!? It means I’m a MILF…I’d always hoped I’d be a MILF!

Truth in Kanye's Lyric…Life Lesson!

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

The other day I was driving home from yet another beyond stressed, spazzed-out day at the office. At less than 2 months from my due-date, I’d just closed on a 53hr work-week and easily had 5hrs of working staring me in the face for Saturday. I was exhausted, upset, and annoyed at myself for creating whatever it was that I created to make it necessary for me to work so many hours, although the reality is–it’s the nature of the job and in truth it’s not changed much since I’d started.

Once I’d realized that, my upset shifted to being made at myself for working so many hours. I asked myself why I couldn’t just let the work go when it was time for me to leave? Why didn’t I admit to my bossses that there was too much on my plate? With everyone around me telling me to slow down and now is not the time to push myself, why was I insisting on doing so? I was furious with myself for not having more control over the situation and not putting myself, health, and baby, before my career.

Then suddenly my iPod playing on my car stereo shuffled to Kanye West’s “Everything I Am” (chorus goes:”Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am”, check out the MP3). And I realized there was so much truth in that simple phrase that I’d never quite realized before.

“Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am”.

  • Everything I Wasn’t: irresponsible, lazy, selfish, apathetic, unable to just leave a bunch of work for others….
  • Made Me Everything I Am: hard-working, responsible, loyal, dependable, having integrity and dedication, committed.

Once I noticing this, it really put into perspective for me that the things I was frustrated at myself over…were actually what defined my character in really positive ways. Yes I did need to learn to better assert myself and better communicate with my boss about priorities, but still–bottom line, my heart was in the right place and that made me really feel good and confident about who I am and what I offer an employer.

This mantra, “Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am” can apply to so many situations. Think about something you are frustrated over and see if you can flip it around to really get what Kanye was rapping about.

Writing Fears.

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 at 8:24 pm

So it’s become really apparent to me that I need to write, right now…and probably forever.  Might even consider something larger with it, but for now it’s mostly about the personal need.

However, there is a reason why I do hold back in my writing. And by hold back I mean hold back as far as subject matter, content, truth, what they call “putting it out there”, as well as a general fear of revealing so much only to feel a reaction of so little. It scares the crap out of me really.

To pour my soul into something for so long and then not really have it make a splash. Or do I not even want to try to make a splash. And then what about all the people that I’ve then allowed into the depth of where my mind, heart, and soul have been. Do I even want that? Hm. So much to think about. Either way I’m just going to move forward with what I’m working on and continue to then work on additional projects. I plan to build a portfolio and return to some earlier work and see what’s there.  Pretty exciting, also really scary.

Just wanted to put that out there as a first step toward CONTINUING with what I’m starting. It’s not about discipline at this point, but instead it’s about belief that something needs to be said.

"How are you feeling?"

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I’ve decided that this question, is one of the most beautiful things about pregnancy. Never in my entire life, have I been asked so frequently and caringly how I am feeling. Acquantinces, coworkers, friends, family, and my fiance–everyone deeply cares about how I am feeling. Am I excited? Exhuasted? Nauseous? Uncomfortable? Nervous? Joyous? Being asked this makes me feel special and loved, and deepens my connection with everyone around me.

It really makes me think about how much this question has an impact on a person and on interactions and relationships. Think about how you would answer this question if the person asking it REALLY cared about your answer. Now think about the most common greeting, “How are you doing?”, “How’ve you been?”, “What’s up?”, “What’s new?”. When people ask this, the answer they receive is usually relatively short and protocal, impersonal. And the feeling of being asked this is so standard–like it’s obviously a standard greeting and it’s not that they really want to hear a long, personal answer.

“How are you feeling?” It is music to my ears! Answering it can be honest, or complete bullshit, but when asked with care…the answer is usually one of honesty and appreciation. Thank you to everyone who has asked this and clearly cares, it’s just beautiful!

I Now Hate "Gift Stealing" aka "White Elephant" Work Holiday Party Games

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm

The reason I hate this is because of my recent experience. I went out and bought a beautiful candle made by Voluspa. They make quite possibly the most fabulous and diverse smelling candles I’ve come across. Every time I step into my favorite beauty store, Larchmont Beauty, I take the time to smell every candle on their wall of Voluspa candles. Seriously, they are amazing and I’ve been into candles since I was probably 13yrs old.

So I buy one of these candles for our Gift Stealing game for our Holiday party, knowing it would mostly be women attending. Well in this group of women there were about 4 men. One older man got some hot-pads for the kitchen, which he was polite about. Another guy, my bf, didn’t participate (thank goodness). A third man got a We-Moon Calendar/Planner for women who want to track their moon cycles (?!) and his confusion and lack of desire for the gift was made very obvious and became an ongoing joke of the game. Then the fouth man opened my gift. He was not at all happy about receiving a candle and tried to “get rid of it” by convincing others to steal the candle, though no one did.

Now, I realize it’s just a game. But I spend about $20 on the candle, $20 extra dollars that I don’t have. To see someone be way less than thrilled about a gift you give is annoying to say the least. I could understand if it’s an 8yr old, but not an adult. Given it’s guys, and they are moreso trying to start their own stand-up routine and make the ladies laugh than anything else. I just feel like the point of giving a gift is to that giving is fun becuaase of the receiving reaction and knowing someone loves your gift. Perhaps I shouldn’t have bought a candle, sure. But still–I just find a bit tactless. Poor lady who bought and gave the We-Moon calendar, hopefully she wasn’t as sensitive to this as I was.

Luckily–I stole a fabulous gift…a Mac lipgloss set of 5 different colors! This is fantastic because Mac is my favorite lipgloss (and shadow), and I’ve not been able to purchase something like that as quite an “extra”. However, I still wouldn’t have purchased it, thus not spending the $20 to get anything in return. Stupid unappreciative candle-getter. I shoulda told him I’ll take it back or stole it from him. Grr.

8 Reasons This Apt is Better Than the Last

In Uncategorized on December 7, 2008 at 10:32 am

(in no particular order)

1. covered parking

2. wayyyy more space

3. new appliances including in-wall oven

4. no kids circling wildly around the pool courtyard playing and making noise when i’m trying to nap, sleep in, or focus

5. no annoying property manager who i had beef with since day 1

6. a balcony!

7. massive amounts of storage space

8. no one blasting latino jams all weekend long

What I Learn From the People Around Me:

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Don’t overthink situations that don’t deserve too much thought.

Share what I prefer, like, or want.

Don’t expect too much from someone…or too little.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Do sweat toxic energy.

People who are not focused on you are more obvious than they know.

Dance!

It really is so much more fun to not go to the ladies room alone.

I’m usually the least nice person when talking to a random dude.

People are amazing, connecting for a moment or night is awesome.

Believe in my intuition.

Asking for advice always makes me feel better.

Passing money around between friends ain’t no thang.

Smile is contagious and will really end up making me feel better.

Don’t let people push you around.

Think 10000000 trillion better than you ever have.

Talking about others is a waste of time.

Patience.

The outside truly is irrelevant because with real connections you only see the inside.

Don’t be mean to random guys.

Going out without drinking really is not fun.

Women must stick together.

Loser guys can be gotten over.

It’s okay to not go.

I can do whatever I most want to do.

What about you?

2. Stop partying like a madwoman all the time

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2008 at 9:29 am

This has got to be the most major change in my lifestyle, for anyone that’s known me since I was 15 haha. I’ve always been social and have included drinking as the vehicle, the means, and the ends to my nights out.

I have just recently realized–not realized, admitted to myself–that I am one of those all or nothing people when it comes to going out and drinking. It’s VERY hard for me to just have one. Or to go home after just a few when my friends are still going strong. I have no desire to stop or to hold back. I want to go as hard as I can every time to make the most fun night possible. I envy those who can go out and have just one cocktail and then call it a night at 11pm on a Saturday. I just don’t have that will-power right now. I never have. Maybe in a few years I will.

Living in Los Angeles, the culture here is a nightlife culture. From industry events to great parties every single night of the week, it’s easy to get caught up in that lifestyle. Working at a music magazine with free, VIP access to most places I’d actually want to go to further added to the fun. Not to mention a musician boyfriend, music and entertainment industry friends, and an addiction to live concerts and music festivals.

One wake-up call was that I realized how much money I was spending. And that it was an unpredictable factor in my budget. Who knew what there would be to do on a given weekend, how many $20 valets in Hollywood I’d need to park my car at or $12 drinks I’d purchase. Not to mention the pre-partying and after-partying costs.

I was also bored with it. Going out is essentially the exact same thing at a different place on a different night with slightly different people every single time. It doesn’t look like that if you’re caught up in it and enjoying the lifestyle. I’m not sitting on a thrown preaching here. I did this for a solid 9 years…I think I’ve earned the ability to reflect on why it’s not for me anymore. I’ve also got an amazing boyfriend who LOVE spending time with doing anything and everything…in the past I sorta used going out as a way to escape other areas of my life I was dissatisfied with. And that’s getting really deep and personal. For those who still love the party lifestyle it’s as simple as being attractive because it’s fun, adventurous, and makes for a great photo album. And if you’re single your odds of getting lucky increase if you’re out at clubs.

But the most intense pressure for me to change (coming from myself) was my dissatisfaction with how my weekend and precious time was being spent. Let me paint a picture of what my weekends looked like back then: Friday night super excited to get my party on. Go out until 3am or sometimes 6am. Sleep all day the next day feeling like crap. At some point either on Fri night or on Sat eat crappy, greasy, unhealthy food to soothe my hangover. Saturday either do it again. Or not. Try to jam everything into Sunday (errands, personal needs, visits with fam or friends, etc). On Sunday, since I’m no 28, I’d still feel more like 60% than 100% and 60% is cutting it anymore. I strongly agree with the literature I’ve read stating that lack of sleep, or irregular sleep lends to unhealthy eating.

What I discovered was happening was that any work I did all week, working out, eating healthy, etc went out the door really fast after several+ drinks and crappy hangover food. If I lost 2lbs that week, I gained 2lbs back on the weekend. I was getting nowhere fast with all my hard work. I’d lost maybe 10lbs in 5months and from all the weightloss knowledge I had, I knew I was doing something wrong. Plus it became obvious to me that people trying to make a major change didn’t actually partake in boozing it up all the time. (105lb Hollywood females w/ eating disorders not included).

So I decided to cultivate the kind of weekend that would allow all my hardwork to take root. It was a simple decision when looking at the goal and figuring out the commitment it will take to get there. Now my weekends include cozy nights in or sexy nights out (minus the partylife). I get to bed at a descent hour, I wake up early and get stuff done. I feel great all weekend, I eat healthy, I get workouts in, and I begin the week feeling relaxed, productive, and accomplished. Making this change has allowed me to double my weightloss results!

This change has affected every inch of my mind and body. Now don’t get me wrong, I have gone out a handful of times this summer, drank, and had tons of fun. But I felt like crap the next day and after a few times was over it again. I do plan have modest celebrations for bdays, anniversaries, and holidays…but my tolerance is so low now that a glass of wine or two is all I’d need. I’m currently on lockdown until NYE 2009, when I will party with the best of them.

Cheers!

1. Fully Commit to Healthy Lifestyle to Get in Shape

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Well this is one I’ve talked about before. I’ve had a long journey on this blog that started before last year when I had my Personal Trainer. I’ve been working at working out since my senior year in college, which was 6yrs ago. I didn’t make much progress. Okay I didn’t actually make any progress. In May of 2008, I was only down about 10-20lbs from my highest point in college, major bummer considering there was about 50 more lbs to go! And I kept bouncing around that poundage and realized that this wasn’t getting me anywhere.

So I thought, one day, about how much effort I’d really been putting in. I planned healthy meals, and at this point I was working out daily. I’d even become a “morning person” by going to the gym daily before work. Still–in the recent 6months of major hustle, I was down about 10lbs…something was clearly wrong here.

One day I talked to my friend Jenny who lives in Chicago. She’d recently lost 15lbs in about 2-3months by “counting calories” and was super excited about it. I talked to her about it, taking mental notes. It occurred to me that if she could do this, I should be able to. It became clear that not sabotaging my efforts by letting go on the weekend was key. I tested this that very weekend by eating healthy throughout and what do you know…I lost 5lbs.

I concluded that I kept piling the weight back on each weekend after working my ass off all week.

I decided right then and there that if it were that easy, it was something I had to do. Perhaps it’s an age thing, because I never cared before…health to me now means something it didn’t mean in my mid-20’s. Being “skinny” has never been a concern of mine, but suddenly, being healthy, was.

So here I am…20lbs lighter than that very moment in time in May 2008…and 45lbs lighter than my highest point. I’m still very shocked (and so HAPPY), I can run a mile straight, hike all of Runyon, and have so many options when shopping.