Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mommy Tips: Babies wanna be cool too!


You are never too young to express your love for Radiohead!  We were so thrilled when our friend Gihan hooked us up with this awesome Radiohead Tee... They are available at www.chasertees.com where you can also get your hands on Tees for your baby sporting other amazing artists like The Beastie Boys, The Go-Go's, Brian Wilson, etc.  These tees are proof positive that babies don't have to walk around wearing bunnies and lambs ALL the time. Give 'em a break!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sleep deprivation never looked so good.


Dear Junebug,
Since you've been born I've had to wake up at all hours of the night to feed you, change you and cuddle you.  Sleep deprivation can make a person crazy but when I look at you I'm immediately transported to the present where I can give thanks for these moments where all I have to do in life is stare at my little angel.  There's no other place in the world that I'd rather be...
XO
Mommy

June and Giuliana Love LA!







Dear Junebug,
Your two and a half year old big cousin, Giuliana, came all the way from Costa Rica just to meet you and she's been taking you to all the fun spots in your hometown of Los Angeles.  For this we are very grateful and we thank God for these amazing times with our family who we love very much. This week she took you to the beach, the LA Zoo, the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena and my favorite, Old Navy!  But more importantly, she's been showering you with big cousin love and affection.  Every time I ask her how you are she says "linda!"... that means beautiful in Spanish. 
XO
Mommy

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mommy Tips: I'm Hungry!


At our first appointment with June's pediatrician, we were advised to not take the baby out to any public places that are enclosed with people and processed air i.e. no restaurants!  The thought of being couped up for 60 days in the house was not sitting well with me.  After 16 years of working 10-12 hours a day, I finally have the chance to be a "lady who lunches" and I can't go to a restaurant?! Hmmm... Well, luckily we live in a city chock full of what I call "infant-friendly" restaurants.  It doesn't take much to qualify as an "infant-friendly" restaurant.  After all, we're not exactly in need of a kids menu or crayons.  What we do require is ample outdoor seating with space for a stroller and yummy, healthy food for a breast feeding Mommy.  

Here are my most frequented spots these days:
1. Chin Chin's (206 S. Beverly Dr.)
There used to be a secret item on the menu called the "dim sum and then sum"... for 10 bucks you can have a half order of their world famous chinese chicken salad as well as 2 items off the dim sum menu.  It became so popular they took it off the menu but if you were an long time customer who knew about it, you could still order it.  They finally broke down and put it back on the menu.  I'm obsessed with their szechuan dumplings which are drenched in a spicy cilantro sauce and their steamed chicken dumplings which come with a light but sweet apricot dipping sauce.

2. Oliver's (9601 Wilshire Blvd.)
Oliver's is attached to the Sports Club LA and only serves healthy, spa fare.  You MUST try their avocado and brie cheese bruschetta, it is ridiculously amazing and I've never seen it on any other menu before in my life.  They have a killer chopped salad and great smoothies.  It's also across the street from Barney's so you can always sneak away for a quick shopping excursion.

3. Westfield/Century City Mall Food Court (1801 Ave. of the Stars)
The food court at the Westfield Mall in Century City is mindblowing because it has quality food.  It's not just Panda Express and Hot Dog on a Stick.  My favorite spot is the Lawry's Cutlery which is a mini version of Lawry's.  Where else can you get a mini Thanksgiving dinner in the month of May in 10 minutes?  I also love Tacone, the gourmet wrap stand which offers sweet potato french fries (yummmm). Oh - I forgot to mention that at this food court, they actually serve the food on real plates! AND it's a stone's throw from the Container Store so we can also feed our illness (more on that later).

4. The Farmer's Market (6333 West Third St.)
Another fantastic food court type situation. Korean BBQ, cajun cooking, french crepes and Johnny Rockets (stay away from milkshakes though - fattening for Mommy and causes gas for baby) all in the same spot!  You can also pick up some fresh produce and meats for the evening's dinner without having to move your car... key!  And there's a fantastic fresh pie shop in case you are going to visit the grandparents later and have to bring something.

5. Il Pastaio (400 N. Canon Dr.)
For me, this is one of the best Italian restaurants in LA.  They make all their pasta from scratch and you feel like you can eat the whole menu without gaining an ounce because the ingredients are so fresh.  Great people and celeb watching too... you'll see everyone from Kate Beckinsale to Diane Keaton as well as a parade of Bentleys and Rolls Royces.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mommy Tips: Green Babies!



So you wanna have a green baby? (ya know, eco friendly)... Our friends Rachel and Dawn got Junebug this amazing little froggy blanket by Kicky Pants from Fred Segal (www.fredsegal.com or www.kickypants.com). It's made of bamboo which is incredibly soft, stretchy and yummy. Bamboo is eco-friendly because it grows wild without the aid of fertilizers or pesticides. Bamboo fabric also stays cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold.

We also discovered that simple shoes makes vegan infant shoes. Check them out at www.simpleshoes.com.

But here's one awesome thing I'm going to have to consider - Fuzzibunz! I discovered this off our friend Suzy's baby registry. Not only do I love the name but this eco-friendly diaper alternative looks really really cool (www.fuzzibunz.com). I gotta say I do love the Pamper's "swaddler" with the line that indicates when there's a surprise waiting inside. Tough choice!

Mommy Tips: This week's nursery playlist

1. If I Were A Carpenter - This is a fantastic tribute to The Carpenters album recorded in the early '90s.  I can't think of a better way to introduce my baby to bands like Sonic Youth and Redd Kross.  Songs like "Top of the World" will make you wanna boogie and "We've Only Just Begun" and "Close To You" might bring some tears.  And "Let Me Be the One You Run To" by Matthew Sweet is worth the price of admission - love him!

2. Rockabye! Queen - the whole series of Rockabye records are really cool but it doesn't get much better than Queen!  Although is it wrong to sing "Bohemian Rhapsody" to your baby? I don't know, but it's kinda fun.  I'll tell you what IS wrong though - Rockabye! Nine Inch Nails!  I love me some Trent Reznor but seriously, don't sing "Closer" to your baby!

3. Rockabye! The Cure - did I say there was a better Rockabye record than this one? I lied.  The Cure gets top props for the most spins in the nursery, hands down. (Sorry Coldplay).

4. The Beatles "Love" Soundtrack - I went to see "Love" in Vegas when I was about 7 months pregnant and playing it back now in the nursery brings back great memories.  Giles Martin, son of Sir George did such an amazing job remixing these Beatles classics, it's a must.  Junebug loves it when I sing "Yesterday" and "Something" to her.

5. Classic Bedtime - On a quiet Sunday morning, I like to rock some straight up Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart.  Plus, isn't that supposed to make my baby smart? I know I feel smarter after 5 weeks of listening to this.

(www.amazon.com)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The most perfect refreshment!


"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is 
the most perfect refreshment"
Jane Austen

Dear Junebug,
Your Mommy is obsessed with movies based on Jane Austen novels.  You'll probably be subjected to watching Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice for the rest of your life.  But don't worry, it won't get boring...I'll take any period piece at all... Throw in some kings, queens, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kiera Knightley, great costumes and I'm there.   I can't wait to teach you about Mr. Knightley and Mr. Darcy.  If you turn out anything like me that means you'll have a little bit of Emma and Elizabeth Bennett in you.
Last week I took you to Descanso Gardens (www.descansogardens.org) and I fed you under a big oak tree, we also slept under the flowers.  It was magical... like we went to Hybrid for spring!
XO
Mommy

P.S. I'll tell you about my obsession with J.Lo and bad romantic comedies some other time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Are you bigger than a bread box?


Dear Junebug,
People have been really taken by how small you were when you came home (5 lbs, 3 oz).  One person suggested we take your picture next to something that we could always refer back to as a way to never forget how tiny you were.  This little bear has been keeping you company in the moses basket and as luck would have it, you two were the same size!  You are going to have a great time dressing this bear in all your hand-me-downs...
XO
Mommy

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

sleepy monkey!

Dear Junebug,
Today you are my sleepy monkey.  i love you.
XO
Mommy
(note: click on monkey if video is not streaming)

I miss "the bump"...



Dear Junebug,
You've been out in the world for 4 weeks now and we've been having a great time with you.  You are 6 pounds of pure heaven.  This is no surprise to me as you were an amazing baby even in the womb.  As a matter of fact, I kinda miss "the bump".  It was very comforting to know you were always with me and always safe.  I got a kick out of your kicking... and your daily hiccups were a gentle reminder that you were alive and well.  It was no surprise to see how much you extend your little arms and legs now because I could feel you constantly stretching inside my belly.  
Being pregnant was one of the best times of my life and I'm not sure I was ready for it to end.  This morning as I was trying to feed you and you were fussing and kicking and hitting me in the face (I'm sure it was an accident), I had a realization - as awesome of a baby as you are, you've got to admit, you were waaaaay lower maintenance as a fetus.
XO
Mommy

Sunday, May 17, 2009

To pierce or not to pierce...


Dear Junebug,
I was born in San Jose, Costa Rica where it is customary to pierce little girl's ears right when they are born.  My ears were pierced when I was a week old (see picture of Mommy as a baby above).  I really wanted to pierce your ears... I thought a really cute pair or teeny, tiny diamond earrings would have been so cute on you and it's always a plus when people don't ask if you are a boy or a girl, right?  But your Daddy was out of his mind about it... he just wouldn't have it.  He very rarely puts his foot down about anything (FYI).  But for some reason piercing your ears just put him over the edge.  I guess you'll have to fight with him later about when you are allowed to have your ears pierced.  Just so you know, I am fine with you doing it whenever you want, after all, who am I to complain about pierced ears?  BUT don't EVEN come to me about a pierced tongue, belly button or anything else for that matter... 
XO
Mommy

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mommy Tips: There must be something in the water!


There is a baby boom going on... It seems like every time I turn around one of our friends or cousins are pregnant.  During my pregnancy I counted 15 different babies being born in our circle within 9 months of the Junebug.  We couldn't be more excited!  I think June's 1st birthday party guest list is already complete!  
So you are pregnant, what now?  Here's my top 5 list of things you need RIGHT NOW.

1.  Ezekiel 4:9 bread
Run, don't walk to the market to get this miracle food.  It's a bread recipe inspired and derived directly from the Bible verse, Ezekiel 4:9 ("Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and lentils, and beans, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it...") .  The bread is completely free of preservatives and flour and contains sprouted grains and legumes which combined make the perfect protein.  If you eat this bread every day you will save yourself the agony of pregnancy constipation and hemorrhoids (I never had either).  And, it's yummy!
Please note: it MUST be stored in the refrigerator and you MUST toast it to unlock the best flavor.

2. Black leggings
Get yourself a pair of black leggings; a good pair!  I got a pair of Splendid leggings and wore them out... they will be your new favorite closet basic.  It's time to take advantage of comfy clothes. (www.splendid.com)

3. Stretch mark cream
I recommend Bella B's Tummy Honey (www.target.com) or Burt's Bees' Mama Bee Belly Butter (www.burtsbees.com).  Start using it TODAY, it helps.

4. Pregnancy Diary
It's important to start chronicling this journey.  It's going to go by so fast... you might blink and miss it so take the time to write some things down for yourself and for your baby.  I recommend either "Waiting for Baby" by Tracey Clark or "The Pregnancy Journal" by Christine Harris (www.amazon.com).

5. The Pregnancy Bible
Go out and buy the book, "What to Expect While You're Expecting"... if you follow this book you won't feel alone and clueless.  

Enjoy every minute of it!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mommy Tips: In Defense of the Boob


I'm surprised to find that people still argue and debate about whether to breast feed or not.  If you can't, you can't but if you can, you should.  But ultimately, every mother should choose wisely and go with their heart and as long as you do that, either decision is a good one.  I'm shocked at what a militant breast milk lady I've become, LOL.  It sure takes a lot of diligence, patience and hard work but I feel like I have no excuse since I'm on maternity leave for 3 months and my sole job is to look after this munchkin.  So here are my top reasons why I'm breast feeding and if you are a new Mommy on the fence, I hope this helps.  By the way, you can find me at the Pump Station and Nurtury breast feeding support group starting next week... HELP!

Breast feeding is a plus for Baby:
-  reduces their risk for developing allergies
- reduces their risk for ear, respiratory and intestinal infections as well as lowers their rate of constipation and diarrhea
- reduces their risk of juvenile diabetes, obesity, hypertension
- requires less energy on the part of baby for digestion
- sucking on the breast releases calming hormone in the baby

Breast feeding is a plus for Mommy:
- less Doctor visits for baby means working Mom doesn't have to miss as much work
- breast feeding burns 750-800 calories per day
- formula fed babies have more gas and stinkier diapers (I don't like stinky diapers)
- breast feeding releases oxytocin hormone in the mother's brain which helps to calm and relax
- breast feeding causes contractions that help return mother's uterus to it's pre-pregnant state faster and also reduces prolonged bleeding

Good resources: La Leche League International (www.llli.org) and The Pump Station and Nurtury (www.pumpstation.com)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mommy Tips: There's a new pack leader in town!


It's time to shed the baby weight and I don't think trolling the aisles at Target is going to cut it!  So I decided to join in on the daily dog walk with my husband and our dog, Lola.  This has become beneficial not only for me but for our dog.  If you ever watch Cesar Milan (the dog whisperer) you know that the best way to create a happy, well adjusted, mellow dog is to make the dog part of a "pack" AND by establishing another person as the "pack leader" the dog doesn't feel as much pressure to protect its family, leaving the dog the freedom to just be.  This is especially necessary during walks when the dog can be overcome with anxiety and the need to protect against every single thing that comes into radar.  I decided to make June the new pack leader.  Our dog Lola now walks behind the stroller and I have seen a huge difference in her demeanor.  She's so mellow on the walk and everyone gets exercise and fresh air.  Now that June is the pack leader, Lola feels safer when she's around the house, instead of afraid of her which is always a plus.  Awesome! Gotta love the dog whisperer!
(www.cesarmillaninc.com)

Monday, May 11, 2009

The best Mother's Day ever!


Dear Junebug,
I hope you cherish this picture.  Four generations are alive and well!
Pictured:  Mommy, June Alba, Grandpa Enrique, Great Grandma Alba
XO
Me

This little piggy went to Prada...


Dear Junebug,
I see your Daddy is already educating you on what Mommy likes... I absolutely LOVED my Mother's Day gift.  More importantly, your Daddy also watched you while I went to church.  The opportunity to praise God for the precious gift that you are made my day.  There is no better place to be on a Sunday than church.  The bible says: Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere (Psalm 84:10).  I hope that someday you grow up to embrace faith as it will really provide you with true joy, freedom and happiness.
Love,
Mommy
(www.thebiblegateway.com)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Am I the Walrus?



Dear Junebug,
Our good friends Rob, Mika and Ava sent over a lovely basket for you.  In it was this bizarre little walrus called a "les deglingos".  I think he's pretty amazing but when I checked out the website it turns out he's a bunny?  Just goes to show you, you can't always judge stuffed animals by their looks, you should accept them for their uniqueness and for who they are.
XO
Mommy

(www.deglingos.com)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

angel monkey!

Qee Angel Monkey by _mubblegum.
Dear Junebug,
Last night I caught myself calling you "angel monkey"...  Mommy is silly like that sometimes.  But then I started thinking, hmmm... what the heck does an "angel monkey" look like?  Am I nicknaming you something hideous and ugly?!  The only thing to do in this situation is to do a google image search (of course!).  This beautiful little creature came up and I love it!  
XO
Mommy

P.S. I'd buy you this little angel monkey but the Daddy has put a clamp on the spending.  Rats!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Great Grandma Alba meet Baby Alba



video
Dear Junebug,
There are no words for what seeing you in the arms of my Grandmother means to me...  I can tell you that there is a very good reason why you bear the name of my Grandmother Alba.  She is one of the greatest women to ever walk this earth and I can only hope and pray that by naming you after her you may carry on her legacy.  
XO
Mommy

Mommy Tips: ENGORGEMENT...Just call me Dolly!

 
I've never been a morning person.  Alarms don't do much for me other than give me the chance to hit the snooze button 5 times.  But let me tell you something, when your boobs feel like two bazookas about to explode off your chest, that'll wake you up out of the deepest sleep - no problem.  Just call me Dolly!  It's all worth it though for my Junebug to get the best.

TIPS TO RELIEVE ENGORGEMENT 
  • Breastfeed frequently, 8-12 times every 24 hours
  • Apply moist warmth to the breast for 10 minutes before feedings
  • Hand express or use a breast pump to soften the areola and extend the nipple before feedings
  • Apply cold packs for 10 minutes after feedings
  • Wear a nursing bra, 24 hours every day
  • Use an over-the-counter "aspirin free" pain reliever
(source: www.pumpstation.com)

Lazy Saturdaze...



Dear Junebug,
We had our first Saturday together.  Alone!  Both you and dog slept... Alot.  Mommy organized her closet (it's an illness).  
XO
Mommy

P.S. Did you enjoy your first trip to The Container Store? 
(www.containerstore.com) 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

April Flowers...


Dear June,
Welcome! Saw Your Photo on Facebook And Couldn't Resist. Can't Wait To Hit The Sandbox Together.
Love,
Your New Friend Matthew Muzquiz

(flowers from www.emptyvase.com - gorgeous!)

Trend Alert!


Hair Accessories... a must have.