Saturday, June 1, 2013

In the Month of May

Best book: Another Anne Lamott title, "Some Assembly Required." I did not think it was as good as its predecessor, "Operating Instructions", by a long shot, but I appreciated it giving me insight into how grandparents view their kids and their grandkids and how much restraint it takes not to over-parent your adult children and let them parent their own children.

Best music: I had nothing much that was blowing my mind until the last 3 days of May, and then I entered one of those phases where I stumbled upon an explosion of good tunes (new album from The National!). Feel free to follow my main spotify playlist, where I drop things as I find them, but if you're looking for just ONE good track to discover, I've played this song many a time this month.

Best movie: You can probably guess that I loved The Great Gatsby. I'd been anticipating the movie for a long time, complete with brushing up on my knowledge of the Fitzgeralds and even planning a movie-release party with my friend Jessa that sadly did not come to fruition due to everyone's summer schedules, but I have to boast that we had many design details that I had not seen in any other Gatsby themed wedding or party. I'm just keeping it as a happy place in my mind. As for the movie, I was just crazy about all the eye candy (Prada wardrobe!!!), and I also love when the classic and the modern collide, so I appreciated the soundtrack (though I wasn't crazy about that many of the individual tracks). Someone I know complained that they wasted a chance to show case the great jazz of that era, so in case you didn't know, there's a jazz soundtrack to the movie as well. I was having a design heart attack (in a good way) about the overlay of text from the book in some scenes. Most of all, I was impressed with the juxtaposition of gorgeousness and depression - it was successful in leaving me feeling totally empty at the end of the movie. Of course, I loved the ever charming and dreamy Mr. DiCaprio, and found this comparison with the Titanic funny. I'm saving images of my two favorite scenes for a different post, but this one was a close third. Um.... JK. It's not really available on the internet yet. I'm talking about the white curtain scene when Caraway first goes to visit Daisy. I'll be pinning it like a madwoman if and when it does pop up on the interwebs. I pretty much can't wait to watch it again.

Best bites: The thing I keep going back to that we cooked this month was the avacado-yogurt sauce from this fish taco recipe. It was an amazing addition to tacos that I would never have come with on my own. The other things I would probably make again were these roasted green beans and chicken alfredo pizza, but both were more labor intensive than I like. My friend Diana hosted a Pampered Chef party, and the featured recipe was this cucumber lime dip, which was YUM.

Best of the web: 
  • This photo series, "Kids Were Here" is simultaneously tender and amusing. 
  • Hand in hand with that, I will share Reasons My Son Is Crying, which Jonas's mom brought to my attention. 
  • I [very meagerly] funded my first kickstarter project, my friend Jeremy's film, No More Aloha. He's an incredible photographer and cinematographer, and if for no other reason than to be able to say you supported him in his early days (I'm pretty sure he's going to get wildly famous), you should consider backing it too (though I'm excited to see they've already met their goal)!
  • But best of all, my friend Abby made this video for her senior project in high school. It's pretty much a mash up of a ton of my favorite things, inspired by Baz Luhrmann (who directed the Great Gatsby), no less. 

May events:

  • I drove to Malibu with my friend Michelle to see Anne Lamott speak! It was fun to go on a mini road trip with Michelle, but I'm also just proud of myself for going despite the fact that I couldn't pay full attention to Anne talk because I was trying to keep Ishmael quiet-ish (which required me walking around the back of the room and eventually out into the foyer where I could see her via a screen). If you have kids, you know the temptation to not bother doing things because of how complicated it gets to take your kids places (and that was kind of my disposition even before kids!), but I try and muster up the mom-power to get out and enjoy grown-up stuff. Plenty of people offer to babysit him and I do leave him behind when we go see a movie or the occasional concert, but I end up taking him most places because I want him to experience the rich variety of life, and frankly, he's usually the star of the show wherever we go anyway. The other fans at the Anne Lamott event were only slightly more excited by Lamott than Ishmael. Granted, they were almost all woman in their 50s, but they were probably all Democrats too, so I pretty much loved it. ;) When I got my copy of "Some Assembly Required" signed, Anne handed Ishmael her pen to play with, and when he was reluctant to return it, she gave it to him! I put it in a glass shrine when I got home. Kidding. Kind of. 
  • Mother's Day, of course! My first with my own son (outside the womb). I loved it - it's kind of like having a second birthday, and I love my birthday. On Mother's Day proper, we spent the day with our moms, and the next day, Jonas took me to the hot springs which was so wonderful - I highly recommend it. The private hot tubs are set up on a side of a hill and all the trees are trimmed to make this sort of domed canopy overhead. So beautiful and relaxing. It was extra special because we spent the second night of our honeymoon at the attached hotel, but hadn't been back since then. 
  • The Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival was so very crowded and I think I'm good for a while, after having gone two years in a row, but we did get to try Birch Beer (like root beer but "softer") and frog legs, neither of which we loved, but both of which we are proud to say we've tried. 
  • My sister Annelise came home from Biola for a few days when school ended with her boyfriend Andrew and the whole family went camping at Morro Bay on Memorial Day weekend. Jonas and Ishmael and I weren't able to spend the night with them, but we drove out there the next morning and went kayaking. Well, everyone else rented kayaks and we used my mom's awesome inflatable raft-boat because we thought it would be easier to take Ishmael in. Not so. Because I was holding Ishmael, Jonas was trying to paddle all by himself, and as it turns out, rafts are way harder to maneuver (especially against a current) than kayaks. Eventually we gave up and handed Ishmael off to Andrew and Annelise in a kayak and J and I rowed sideways to a little island shore. We walked our raft up the channel and met everyone else near the sea lion dock. We thought for sure it would be a piece of cake to drift back down the inlet with the current, but the wind picked up just then and it became really impossible to maneuver the boat. I was seriously considering flagging down the coast guard, but my husband saved us in the end and Ishmael slept the entire time. Believe me, it was scarier than it sounds. It kills me not to have pictures of meeting Anne Lamott or our near death experience at Morro, but sometimes you have to practice living in the moment (and not ruining your camera with sand, because I've totally done that). 

Ishmael's 7th month: Now that he's figured out real crawling for the grand total of about a week (before, he was doing "ATV crawling", as Lamott would say), he's all about pulling himself up to standing. Sometimes he even tries to stand mid-crawl, and gets frustrated that his hands aren't cooperating. We've successfully trained him to sleep through the night (Hallelujah, and why did we wait so long?!!), and he can wave goodbye now, which everyone loves of course, but then they try and get him to blow kisses, high five, pound fists, etc., none of which he knows how to do yet. He cut his first tooth and LOVES oranges, turning the pulp into chest hair and requiring a bath after each snack. He already makes some "boy noises" (precursors to engine and gun noises), and continues to love the bath, though he now hates having his diaper or clothes changed, both of which he used to like. One of the most notable behavior changes this month is that he's become very clingy and relatively snuggly, even. I love that he reaches out for me, but it's also sad to see him less willing to let other people hold him.

May love list: taro root, scholarship money, yoga at work, dahlias, grapefruit, watercress, strawberries, Julia's piano playing, some warm mornings, knowing that people pray for us, being able to read.

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