Friday, January 30, 2009

last summer i was at a leadership training seminar thingy and the owner of  my company told me that his three daughters made some of their oldest closest friends in play groups when they were babies.  he asked if i had plans to join a play group.  i hadn't really thought about before that moment.  

then finding childcare became hard.  someone g. works with suggested that i join a mother's group.  i did.  though we didn't find childcare i did score some great petit bateau onesies. 

and i signed up for a play group.  tomorrow ollie and i will go check it out and see how it goes.  i'm not so sure what to expect.  

based on the emails, here are the names of the kids so far:


what ever happened to names like sally, joe, cindy, or matt?  

If I Twittered

if i twittered i would eat this:

toast and bacon

(i know, i'm a huge dork.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Ollie's been learning lots of new things lately.

He's discovered his feet. He likes to hold them up and admire them. He also likes to bang them on the floor. Hard. I'm expecting bruises.

Seen here with new friends.

He rolled over yesterday, from back to front. He was playing in his crib and I was running around the house trying to get a things done. He was talking and grunting up a storm, when he suddenly started to cry. I ran into his room and found him lying on his tummy, looking at me to please help me get back on to my back!

I really could eat these thighs

When I'm nursing him and say my phone rings, he stops nursing and stares up at me.  I think he thinks I'm talking to him.  Either that or he's trying to say shut up lady and let me eat in peace.

He's very into grabbing things. We taken to giving him two pacifiers: one to suck on and one to hold.


Ollie concentrating on holding the pacifier.  It's not as easy as it looks, people!

He's been sleeping for longer stretches of time, which is lucky for us. He generally wakes around 4 for a feeding. After feeding him, while changing him, he smiles up at me, searching my face for a return smile. I try to be calm and quiet so as to not rile him up but it's impossible not to return this smile. This smile, it slays me. I cannot get enough of it. It's my cure-all.
Pardon the crummy photo quality.  Lately, I only seem to take pictures with my phone.  I need to get a small camera that will fit in my purse.  It's just that with the iphone, it's instant gratification...I can email them to flickr immediately.  


Tonight I received an email from my Aunt Kathy, containing a random video of my grandmother:

Granny was my maternal grandmother, named Rosemary O'Brien.

I think this photo was taken in 1965/1966:

She was born in 1925 and lived in Memphis, Tennessee until, at the age of 17, she married my grandfather, Dr. John T. O’Brien, who was a ripe old 27.

They moved to San Jose, California.

Together they had 8 children, which later resulted in numerous grandchildren.

Granny was an incredible woman-very elegant, kind, fashionable, wise, practical and graceful. And always a lady. She was a gorgeous woman, both inside and out.

Even with 8 children(!), she was always dressed to the nines and she loved to shop.

crooked fam
Here's Granny pictured with my grandfather and seven out of her eight kids. The lame scan job is my fault. Back row, left to right: My mom, Kelley, Terry, Timmy, John T, Billy and Michael. Front row: Grandad, Jeanie, Granny (Missing: Aunt Kathy. She must've been married by now?)

This is my grandmother in the backyard of their house on University Avenue, in San Jose. I have the outfit she's wearing. It's a two-piece from I. Magnin.   It fit me when I was a freshman in college, however, many years and one child later, it no longer fits.   My friend Kathy and I used to wear the top as a dress when we were young.

Us grandkids called her "Granny," however, she didn’t luck much like a granny. Ever.

gran mom
Granny on the left, my mom on the right.  I'm not sure of the year here, however, I do know my mom was in high school.  

mom baptism
Here's Granny holding my mom at her baptism.  

As a child, if I was sick and my mom had to work, I would get to spend the day with Granny.

At lunchtime, she would make us each a Slim Fast Shake. With it we'd have a turkey sandwich and tomato soup.

She died in January 1995 at the age of 70.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Etsy: Little Put Books

Growing up I had a friend named Anne.  She lived around the block from me and for a while I spent a fair amount of time playing at her house.  
One time I said the word sexy and she told me it was a bad word.  
One time I pulled a plug out of the socket, by pulling the cord part.  She told me it was a bad thing to do and she was sure it was by accident.
Her mom sold Mary Kay so we'd play with make up.
They had a microphone that hooked up to their stereo.  We'd plug it in and sing "Do Run Run." Over and over and over again.

They had a wall in behind their kitchen table that was covered in wallpaper that was a huge photograph of a waterfall. These pictures from Little Put Books remind me of the wallpaper at Anne's house.  In a good way. I want these:

This would be great in the (my!) kitchen:

One more:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Polaroid Saved

This news is at least a week old, however, maybe the two people who read this don't know yet. (Hi Mom and Dad!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Street

All the Bush Street signs in San Francisco have been changed to OBAMA Street signs.  

Link from Gabriel, Photo from Violet.Blue

Etsy Kids

Loving this hat from Lilly Knitting:

I like this one, from Warm and Fuzzy Baby, too:

Sunraye Designs makes kid pants out of old sweaters.  These capris are adorable. And only $14.00! 

I'm getting this for Ollie from Knotty Baby Wear

So much cuteness.  

Saturday, January 17, 2009

De Young

On Friday afternoon Maegan and Ella came over so the four of us could head over to the De Young to check out the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit.

We took advantage of the insanely gorgeous weather we've been having (in January!) and walked over the museum.

The future happy couple:
Maegan has decided they'll travel Europe together after high school, before college.  I can already picture them.

As we were entering Golden Gate Park, Maegan spotted Radhika from Top Chef leaving the park.

We knew the museum was open late, however, neither of us knew about Friday Night at the De Young:
On Friday Nights, the entire museum stays open until 8:45 p.m. offering a variety of interdisciplinary arts programs, including live music, poetry, films, dance, tours, and lectures. The cafe and a no-host cocktail bar are open for dinner and drinks. There are hands-on art-making activities available for children and adults. 

We ordered beers and sat down to drink them, chat and people watch before working our way through the YSL exhibit.

The exhibit itself was great.  I've never seen such exquisite clothes that close up.  I was looking forward to seeing the dress that Catherine Deneuve wore in Belle de Jour, having been tipped off by my friend Jane, with whom I'd seen the movie with years ago and it didn't disappoint.  (Catherine Deneuve was so thin.)  

Three little girls came through with their folks. One kept loudly saying, "It's Jesus' mom! It's Jesus' mom!"  I think I know which dress reminded her of Jesus' mom: I think it was the dress on the left though, because after thirteen years in Catholic school, I am pretty confident in my assumption.  (Hee hee, assumption, get it?)

When we exited the exhibit Friday Night at the De Young was in full swing. There was music, there were kids doing art projects, and parents walking around with beers, pushing strollers. (This is what parents do when they have children and can no longer go out to bars. They drink at the museum and are home a little after 9. I get it!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

My pregnancy leave is almost over and I’m so sad about leaving my boy in the hands of another.


It breaks my heart that someone else will see his gummy smile and big, curious eyes when he first wakes up. Someone else will dry his tears. Someone else will play with him. Laugh with him. (And oh how he likes to laugh!) Someone else will snuggle with him. That he’ll pull someone else’s hair. Someone else might be there the first time he rolls over, crawls, walks, or even speaks. Someone else will change his shitty diapers, get spit up on or coax him down for a nap.


Someone else won’t love him the way I love him; there will be limits.

It hurts; just writing this is making me weepy.

And yes, I know, I’m not the first mom in the world to have to go back to work.
And yes, I know, I’m lucky I’ve had the chance to spend so much time with him.

And I’m so grateful that I have such a beautiful, happy little man.


That doesn’t change the fact that I’m going to miss my little baby.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

If I twittered I would tweet this

I really loved the movie Milk.
The other day I was in San Jose visiting my friend Jane and her family.  Before heading back home, I stopped off at my folks so they could see the baby.  Ollie needed to eat so I sat in the kitchen and nursed him while my mom made her lunch for the following day.  My dad who was watching WWF* in the other room, came into the other room, to grab an apple.  He grabbed a Gala apple. This might not seem like a big deal, however it is. You see, my mother has only kept Red Delicious apples in her kitchen for the last 32 years. Seriously the woman has been loyal to the Red Delicious for my entire life.  Probably longer. I'm not a big fan of the RD apple. It's texture is a bit too grainy for my tastes.

 As we sat there, my mom started packing herself a lunch for the following day.  She grabbed a Red Delicious and started cutting into it.  The following conversation ensued:

Me: Mom, are Red Delicious apples your favorite apple?
Mom:  No, not really.
Me:  They're the only apple I've ever seen you buy for 32 years.
Mom:  Yeah, I really like the color.

The fact that my mom chooses her apples based on aesthetics is hilarious.  It really seemed like she'd not given this much thought.  I'm curious to see if she will continue to buy the RD apple or if she'll explore other apple varieties.  (I know, my world is so exciting, can you stand it?)

*My dad likes fake wrestling.  What can I say?  Makes me laugh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Loving Paper-cuts

I love Los Angeles based artist Elsa Mora. In addition to her main blog, in which she chronicles her various artistic endeavors (and holy smokes the woman does EVERYTHING well), she has a blog devoted entirely to paper-cutting.  Elsa includes links to resources and books about paper-cutting on her blog. 

Here's an example of Elsa Mora's paper-cutting.

The elaborate and teeny tiny detail blow me away.  Note the feet and beaks on the birds-they're so little!

Another favorite is Robert Ryan.  His works are amazing. Get a load of that nest!

Here's one from Fables and Foxes.  I love the lettering included in this one.

Fables and Foxes

A popular paper-cutter is Nicki McClure.  One of my favorite books of Ollie's is Awake to Nap.

It's available on the Buy Olympia site.  McClure made the book during her son's naps.  Her paper-cuts are amazing and I love her use of color.

If I twittered I would tweet this

Check out Todd Selby's site, The Selby.  Go on, get lost.  

Beautiful photographs of interesting people who live in neat homes who do cool stuff with fun Q&A + links at the end of each profile, too  I can spend HOURS here and I bet you will, too, yes? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Searching the web for jewelery is like window shopping on the couch. Behold, pretty jewelry finds!

This ring, from Supermarket is similar to a ring I had as a kid:

I'm loving these earrings from Etsy seller Masaoms:

This necklace from Mayerain's Etsy Shop is fun:

Bijou Girl Designs has a sweet leaf ring:

Michelle Chang's Etsy shop has some neat pieces, like this ring for instance:

Melissa Joy Manning's Diamond in the Raw is both gorgeous and out of my price range:

Melissa Joy Manning's jewelry is made in Oakland, California, by metalsmiths who earn a living, working wage.

I saw these pieces by Sarah Graham at a gallery over the weekend. At $7,000 plus, they're way (way, way, way) out of my league. But so pretty:

Academy of Sciences

Today Ollie and I brought some friends to the California Academy of Sciences.  Ollie slept the entire time we were there, blocking out the sound of screaming kids and grown ups. (Funny that creaking floorboards in our house wake him up but he was dead to the world there.) My girlfriend's little guy is 2 1/2 and he LOVED it.
We started off by walking through the 4-story rainforest.  Each level represents a rainforest from a different part of the world.  Here there were frogs, bats, tall trees and beautifully colored butterflies and birds flying around.  Upon leaving the young man who was working the elevator asked everyone to make sure that none of the butterflies were stuck to their clothes.  And, "that there were no frogs in your throat and ants in your pants." 

Next, we walked through the impressive Steinhart Aquarium.  There's a 25-feet deep Philippine Coral Reef, a recreation of the Nothern California Coast, a Water Planet and more.  There were sharks, and piranha.  There were fish that looked glittery.  I can't remember what they were called but they were so very disco.    There were fish that looked like tree branches.  

I took some shoddy pictures with my camera phone:


It was really neat to be there with a two-year old.  I can't wait to take Ollie when he's older.


There were several (like 8!) old ladies sitting on a bench, across from what you see above.  It's so pretty and calming I totally get why they hang out here.  I plan on joining them again next week.  

Finally, we hit the African Hall, and here we saw the real live penguins. This was the highlight of the day for my girlfriend's little boy. He screamed with delight while watching the penguins, eliciting smiles from the adults around him.  

I still have yet to check out the Morrison Planetarium, which is the largest digital planetarium in the world.  

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My friend Jane is in town from Switzerland.  Her husband Hayo's great aunt makes the best baby booties.  She dyes little blankets to match.  Jane brought Ollie 3 pairs.  

cute shoes from auntie jane

Ollie's friend Ella gave him monster socks for Christmas. Whenever he wears them I can't help but smile.  He wore his monster socks to bed last night.  He sleeps in a little crib next to our bed.  He was kicking as he was falling asleep and I kept seeing the little monster feet pop up.  

another shot of monster feet from ella

monster feet from ella

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Morning Hotness

Nursing Ollie, reading a cookbook, wearing sweats I bought while I was pregnant, with unshaved legs, white Nike socks and my navy blue old man slippers*.


*Dearfoams. So fucking comfortable.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wimmer Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile

If you're looking for an off-registry* baby shower gift, I recommend the Wimmer Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile.  According to every site that sells it, it's award-winning, though I can't figure out just what award it's won.  

The mobile comes with interchangeable cards, so you can start with the very simple black and white shapes and as your baby's vision improves, you can add the more complex colorful cards.
Here are the cards:

Photo Credit

Ollie loves his mobile. We do too. We wouldn't be able to get dressed in the morning without it.

Edit: * I don't know why, but I woke up in the middle of the night and for some stupid reason, was thinking that duh, of course this could be on a baby registry somewhere. But Babies "R" Us doesn't carry it... And OH MY GOD I feel so much better having clarified this.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Do I want this jacket?

Do I want this dress?

Both are on sale...

Images from Steven Alan's site

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ollie Update

• Bonnie Prince Billy makes Ollie stop crying. Whenever I put on Master and Everyone and turn it up to a decent level his crying immediately ceases. It’s been a big help the past few days because Oliver has just come to the realization that crying gets a response and that he can make things happen when he cries. (Really, it’s probably a distraction but I like to pretend it’s because Ollie has impeccable taste in music.)

• I tried to take Ollie to story hour the other day and by the time we got there it was over. I know, mother of the year. We’ll try again next week because it looked kind of fun. It’s at the library on Ortega in the outer Sunset. The library is old and teeny tiny but there’s something cozy about it.

• Today Ollie and I went to San Jose. We had to drop something off in Mountain View so we made a day of it: we went to see my grandmother, we had lunch with one of my brothers and then we visited my folks. While we were at my parent’s house, I was making myself a tea and he rolled over for my parents. He did it twice for only me a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad someone else got to see it.
Shauna of small medium large did a great post today on affordable art.

I was just cruising my Google Reader and saw Jen Beckman’s project, 20X200, which does exactly what Shauna was talking about. The idea is, she offers a photograph and a work on paper in the following sizes and quantities:
8.5” x 11” 200 for $20
16” x 20” 20 for $200
30” x 40” 2 for $2,000

She was doing it once a week though I’m not positive if it’s still that frequent. Stuff goes quickly; in particular the $20 pieces so act quickly if there’s something you want.

Jen Beckman owns an art gallery in New York City. She opened her gallery with the intention of supporting up and coming artists. In addition to 20x200, she has a twice-yearly Hey, Hot Shot! contest to help emerging photographers. Winners get a two-week exhibition at her gallery.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Oliver will be attending his first birthday party on Sunday. If he understood what this meant, I'm sure he'd be very excited.

But that's not the point of this post. The point is, I love what we bought for the birthday girl:

Image from the Baby Leo site

Yeah, that's right, it's a cape. They're made in San Francisco - in the Sunset district no less.

The Panighetti family came to visit us today and Stephanie bought Megan a cape, too. Here's Megan's:

megan got a cape