The D.R.

We had the most incredible trip, so different from the way we used to travel.  Gone are the days of staying up until dawn while exploring a new city by moonlight and bottles of wine. Gone are the days of sleeping in and ordering room service as we lay in bed soaking up the foreign morning light. In its place; afternoon walks with Jack in the ergo while he naps, his hair damp and rife with curl in the humidity, days spent playing on the beach, eating dinner early before restaurants become too crowded, then walking back to the hotel and hearing Jack say the word “star” for the first time. We spent so much time exploring, as only being with a child impels you to explore, slowly and so thoroughly. Any thoughts of a sight-seeing checklist were scratched to accommodate the pace of a child who could spend a year exploring a single stretch of beach.

I think these days, in years to come when I look back, will be remembered as the best days. Not because they are easy or glamorous but because they are so filled with purpose and love. I used to spend a great deal of time concerned over if I was accomplishing “enough” or doing “enough” in a very abstract way. These days there are fewer quandaries  and so much more peace. I am raising my son and creating my family and that for now is more than enough, it is perfection. I love the way our lives have changed.

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Bon Voyage

I am playing catch up, there is so much I want to post about; the end of health month, moving in to finance month, all the amazing changes that Jack is going through but I just have not been able to manage it. Lynch has been shooting for 3 weeks with no days off, this is always intense for all of us because shoot days are usually about 16 hrs long. He leaves the house before Jack wakes and comes home far after he has gone to sleep. I really don’t understand how single parents do it! between being up with Jack all night and being with him all day it can get…intense. But on the bright side, Shark Pig has so many exciting things going on! They shot back to back Burt’s Bees and Ugg commercials. The Ugg commercial shot in the Dominican Republic, so Lynch has been there for the last week, and we are going to join him tomorrow!

I am so excited for the trip, I have been dying to travel! The trip really came together quickly, Shark Pig booked the commercial 2 weeks ago and then we spent a few days questioning if Jack and I should join them after they wrapped (um obviously.) Once we came to our senses and decided, I scrambled to get Jacks passport, and get mine renewed, which meant lost of trips to the Federal Building with a 17 month old (fun times.)

I bought Jack his first electronic toy, a cell phone and am planning to download a few toddler apps on the ipad (which he has never played with before.) I am hoping that abandoning my parenting principals in order to distract him during 10 hours of flying will pan out well for us.  I have informed Lynch that when I land and he picks us up at the airport I will be immediately handing him Jack, and he will be handing me a cocktail. I feel optimistic about the travel, and honestly it does not stress me out too much, babies cry, people have to deal, and you can always buy your seat mate a drink if your baby kicks them repeatedly while nursing (true story, that happened.)

I hope to arrive home next week, refreshed, energized, cold-free, and slightly tan. I need this trip, lately it feels like my mind is boxing in my life, getting caught in detail and losing the big picture. Traveling always bursts me out of that small mind-set, and that is needed right now.

bon voyage!

Park

The days are slowly growing longer, light stretching out in to the evening so we can play and frolic more. We have been frequenting the park more these days with our pals.  Jack was not that keen on it before but has started to enjoy it more, although for the most part he mostly likes to run and ignores the jungle gyms.

His time at the park unfolds as follows; run, run, run, find dogs, chase dogs, run, run, run, find moon, yell “moon” 500 times, run, run, run, climb jungle gym, try to jump off some inappropriate part of jungle gym, ignore friends, try to eat friends snack, ignore own snack, run, run, run, chase birds, fall down, get friends snack as form of pity from friends mom over fall, run, run, run, eat sand, eat more sand, desire water since mouth is parched from eating sand, try to steal friends water, ignore own water, run,run,run, fall, eat sand whilst on the ground post fall, get picked up by mom, demand to nurse, get taken home as the last of the daylight drains out of the sky.

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Mama

The word of the day, everyday and all night around these parts is “Mama.”  Jack is experiencing a wave of separation anxiety and some serious Mama love, truthfully it is equal parts sweet and frustrating. There is nothing sweeter than my name on my little boys lips, and the light in his eyes that follow. It moves me, helps me be patient and fills me with so much tenderness. In the night when he wakes, it is no longer cries that I hear beckoning me through the walls, but the escalating wails of “Mama, Mama, Mama,” when I pick him up from his crib and press his warm little face in to my shoulder, I bask in the fact that a simple touch can sooth him. But sometimes even when he is in my arms he still cries and chants “Mama” and I know that is the word he uses when he needs comfort, love, when he wants or desires something and sometimes I think he says it when he feels like a stranger in his own skin, that uneasy feeling that we all get sometimes, he says “Mama” to chase it away. It fills me with so much love that my name is equal to the source of all comfort, it is so elemental, so primal.

The frustration arrises, when I can not leave the room with out the pitiful squawk of “Mama” on my heels, arrises when I see the hurt look in my husbands eyes, when “Dada” can not sooth like he used to, arrises when I am holding him and loving him and he still howls “Mama” to which there is not much I can do (unless he is referring to some other more adept Mama that I don’t know about.)

Obviously Jack is going through something right now, he is teething and growing at an alarming rate, and 16 months seems to be a common age for separation anxiety. But it is hard not to feel like it is something that I caused; maybe I am not giving him enough attention, maybe we moved him out of our bed and in to his own too soon? These are the questions that clutter my mind. When I am rational, I remind my self that I am with him all day, so a lack of attention is unlikely and he handled the adjustment to his own bed really well, not to mention I still go in and nurse him a few times a night, so he is hardly independent in the evenings, but when I am tired all the logic drains off and the irrational guilt floods in.

I have been trying to focus on what I can do to help soothe his uneasy days. I have been keeping them rhythmic and predictable, playing outdoors, taking long walks in the ergo and holding him close when his little body can’t seem to settle down. I know that these days will pass, and the “Mama” days will be a sweet (and slightly exhausting) memory.

A Resolute Year

ACE

We had the pleasure of ringing in the New Year with friends at the Ace hotel in Palm Springs. It was a rejuvenating way to start 2013, and boy do I have a lot planned for this year.

I had the realization recently that I have everything that I want in life, it  may not be where I want it to be, but the seed elements are in place for everything that my little heart desires. I have an amazing family, we are building an incredible company, I am writing, and I am working on a project that has been fluttering around my mind for years. There is the need for growth and attention in all areas of course, I just need to simplify and organize. So that is my resolution for 2013, to simplify and organize.

Each month I am going to choose a different area or project to focus on, a different area to organize and simplify or learn, not that I will abandon it after the month, but the idea being that I will have that particular area running smoothly and more self-sufficiently so that it continues with less attention. I used to organize and produce for a living, this year I am going to apply those skills to my own life.

The twelve areas that I will be focusing on are; health, finances, Shark Pig, Blogging, L.A. house, Fairfield house, Jack & Jonathan, writing, knitting, travel, going green (greener) and learning spanish.

I have not worked out the order yet, but will be announcing the focus here on the blog on the first of the month and keeping you all updated on my progress. Hopefully blogging about it will keep me focused and motivated.

This month I will be focusing on health, which is classic January fodder and an excellent springboard for the rest of the year. Hope everyone else is as excited about their resolutions as I am. Let the great experiment begin!

P.S. I got inspired to set a goal a month after reading this awesome blog!

B Game Christmas

I love Christmas, and I like to celebrate it to the fullest but this year I decided to ditch all of  my expectations, relax and really enjoy time with my family, that’s right, I did not bring my A game. I did not send out cards, make presents, or travel, and it was amazing. On Christmas eve we made homemade pasta, watched Christmas movies and relaxed in our Pajamas. On Christmas day we opened gifts in the morning then made a big dinner to enjoy with friends. Jack went crazy over the little piano we got him, it was such a sweet and relaxing day.

I hope to carry this feeling into the New Year, to focus on family, to simplify. Sometimes it feels like the little joys get overshadowed by putting too much pressure on my self or by setting ridiculously high expectations, this year I hope to be a little gentler on myself, to be more involved in the moment. This time, when Jack is small is so incredible, I want to absorb every drop of these beautiful days.

Happy Holidays

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Peace

The moment that you become a parent you are filled with the understanding that there is nothing worse than the loss of your child. It was with this understanding in mind that I cried tears for the victims of the tragic school shooting in Connecticut on Friday. Although I know the horror of the day is felt by everyone, parent or not, I could not look at it through any other perspective than that of a Mother. I was and am filled with so much sadness, confusion, frustration and the overwhelming need to hold my own boy close. I immediately start to wonder what I can do, to help, to prevent, to keep my own family safe.

In the wake of a tragedy we all begin to point fingers, to try to ensure that something like this horror will not occur again. Hopefully we also look to ourselves and ask what we can do to create a more peaceful culture, I know that I have.  I could spend more time being charitable,  I could be more involved supporting politicians and policy that I believe in.  But I have realized  that the most important thing I can do to help contribute to a peaceful, compassionate and sane world is raise my child, to the very best of my abilities, to exemplify these qualities. That focusing each day on being the best parent that I can be is a way to help. I am not implying that it is a simple equation, that thoughtful parenting negates the existence of maniacs and mentally ill adults in the world, but I do think that in this county there is a shameful lack of attention and respect paid to raising our children. I see this lack of attention in our government, our lack of good education, our lack of laws that protect children, our lack of maternity leave, our lack of health care. But I also see this lack of attention in families, so many people seem to think that it is someone else’s responsibility to raise their children, to teach and instill values in them, that the schools should do it, or the government should do it.  Raising children should be everyone’s priority, family, government and community. It is the children who will be the citizens of tomorrow, and shape our country, whether it be peaceful or violent will depend on them.

I hope that some positive change can come out of this tragedy. I hope that the community and families affected can find peace and healing. I hope that during this season of love and charity that we can sustain these traits and carry them in to the new year.

OK, I’ll get off my soap box now.

xoxoxo

Shark Pig

In this season of gratitude, one of the things that I am grateful for is Shark Pig. Shark Pig is a full service production company that began as a unique wedding videography company started by Brian Morrow, or Shang, as we call him (or Seng, as Jack calls him) specializing in super 8. After a year of Shang working like a manic, traveling the world and building an insanely successful wedding video company, he started getting inquiries to branch out in to the world of web content, behind-the-scenes, and commercials, that is when Lynch joined Shark Pig. These days the company has a wedding component that includes multiple shooters (all of whom are brilliant and a perfect addition to the Shark Pig family), and a thriving production company. As Jack grows I am excited to be more involved in the company, Shang and Lynch are generous in including me in the broad strokes, and letting me choose the pace that feels right to begin to work again.

I met Shang in college, he was one of those people I knew I wanted to be friends with instantly, he had such a winning sense of humor and easy charm about him. He used to wear an old soft hat that had belonged to his grandfather, he played the trumpet in his car and was the life of most social gatherings.

Shang and Lynch hit it off instantly as well. But I think their friendship was solidified over 24 hours of male bonding in which they ditched class, bought and donned cheap suits from the local thrift store while they drank 40’s in an abandoned box car on the railroad tracks, spilling their guts to each other (very John Steinbeck if you ask me.) Although their outward personalities are almost polar opposite they share a wild and sentimental streak that bonds.

After one particularly bad break up of Shangs, he made a list of the 100 movies he was ashamed to NOT have seen (especially as a film major) and posted it on his dorm room wall, classic movies like the “Godfather “and “Deer Hunter” made the list, to which I added “Singing In The Rain” and “Breakfast at Tiffanys.”  We all hunkered down with him and watched about 3 movies a day, drank PBR and helped him nurse his broken heart. When Lynch and I started dating we did not enter in to it very gracefully, instead we kept it a secret, and we were constantly breaking up and getting back together. The only person who knew about our dramatic/ridiculous/ secret relationship was poor Shang and he had to listen to both of us expound upon it constantly!

When we weren’t engaged in exercising our teen angst, we were exploring our creativity by making films, doing theater, and producing parties and events. After college we all migrated to Los Angeles and worked odd jobs while we made our way in to commercial and film production, working together as much as possible, and with our other friends in production.

That has always been the dream, and that is the cornerstone of Shark Pig, not only to be able to DO what we want but with WHO we want. That was our dream when we were throwing rap shows in broken down barns in college, and that is still our dream today as Shark Pig produces amazing content. There is so much more that we want to accomplish as a company, the vision for the future is far reaching and vastly creative. It’s a heady thing to recognize that you are accomplishing what you always wanted.

Photographs by Lou Mora (one of our talented friends that we are pleased as punch to be working with.)


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Moon

Jack has discovered the moon. He lifts his chubby little chin and searches the night sky for it, when it is found he points with vigorous joy and says “moon.” It melts me, I am toast, it is too much for my sappy heart to handle.

The other day a woman stopped me on the street and told me that all redheads are descended from Vikings (totally normal occurrence for us, people go nuts for redheaded babies, I get stopped multiple times a day and peppered with questions and information.) But I can see a streak of Viking in him, every toy becomes a mallet. I’m pretty sure the internal chant in his head is “smash, smash, smash, smash.”

Due to his prowess for smashing everything is sight, the gentler side of his nature particularly delights me. He loves to pick flowers, he holds them under his nose with great exaggerated inhales and says “fwowa” and then shoves the flower under my nose to smell. “Smash, smash, smash, flower, moon” that’s my boy, a sensitive little Viking.

Halloween

I have felt so fortunate to find a group of moms with little ones close to Jacks age, who live on our hill. We began having play dates when the kiddos were newborns and still continue to see each other regularly. We do park dates, play dates, lessons, preschool fairs, walks and we spend an occasional evening away from our little ones sipping wine and chatting about everything under the sun. At first all the talk was about babies, as that was our common denominator, but as our friendships have grown so has the conversation. Now I think of them less as my “mom friends” and more as simply “friends” who all happen to have little boys Jack age.

On Halloween we had a gathering at one of their for drinks and treats and then walked to our neighborhood SRF for the annual Halloween festivities, with a balmy California breeze and a low hung moon, it was a perfect evening.

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