no likey

no likey | the original mb

Much to my chagrin my little boy does NOT like his baths. Sink baths, tub baths, any of it. He’s a shower with Mom type of guy. Is that odd for a 4 month old? We tried the whole bath time/wind down routine with him before bed. It didn’t soothe him at all… it only pissed him off more. As a result my blood pressure would shoot through the roof and I’d be sweating by the time I got him diapered and dressed for bed. It gave me a slight case of PTSD because I haven’t given him a night-time bath for a while. I’m scared to try again! Mamo and I decided to give him a kitchen sink bath the other day and he lost his shit, yet again. So many people have commented that he’ll love his baths eventually and that I’ll have a hard time getting him out. On what day, at what time, in which alternate universe will this be true? Really, somebody tell me.

Eagerly awaiting your reply,

Bath Battle Mom from the Bay

 

baby’s first flight

baby's first flight | the original mb

baby's first flight | the original mb

baby's first flight | the original mb

We recently flew to FL to visit family and soak up some rays. It was JJ’s first flight and a cross-country one at that! We were pretty anxious about how he’d do at only 3 months old. We did all the research, pinned all the pins, printed all the packing lists, etc, etc. We really wanted to make everything go as smoothly as possible. Traveling is a big part of our life as a family so having a baby who can roll with that is pretty important to H and I. I’m happy to report that he did great! The flight wasn’t without a few hiccups but for the majority of it he slept like the dead. Nursing was key, of course. And so was Mommy’s extra anti-anxiety pill and whiskey cocktail. It’s all about balance, you see. We all had our needs met. He had a minor crying fit on the flight back to California but we survived…and we still received compliments about how good he was! Go Baby Jackson! 2 flights down, a lifetime of flights to go! You made us proud, bud. <3

sunny obsession

sunny obsession | the original mb

sunny obsession | the original mb

I heard somebody say one time that “everyone should collect something.” For such an empty¬†statement it stuck with me. For the longest I couldn’t think of anything interesting enough to collect. When I was younger I became very fond of Coca Cola memorabilia. Why? I honestly have no clue. I didn’t even drink Coke. Still don’t! Yet I had Coca Cola wallpaper border wrapped around my room and a big, red Coca Cola clock to match. Perhaps it was the old-timey style. Felt classic and nostalgic…I guess? Who knows. I was a weird kid sometimes and the border completely clashed with my blue and gold wall paint. Ugh. But even that little phase was nothing but a half-assed collection. Fast forward to adulthood and I’m pondering what kind of knick-knacks to accumulate. And then it dawned on me that I already had a sizable collection of one thing: sunnies. Cheapy plastic sunglasses were my thing. Now and forevermore they will be my thing. Now that I’m in my 30’s a few nicer pairs have been added but overall it’s the same – no pair of shades over $15, bold style and flattering lens shape. I can’t help myself! Even when I’m in the gas station I check out the circular displays to see what they have (They have crap. Always crap!). I display them in my home and people always make comments about it. I have relatives, who shall remain nameless, that treat my collection like their own personal sunglass boutique. *wink* It’s all good, though. At my wife’s request, I throw a few scratched/worn pairs out each year. Doing this keeps me from that thin line of being a hoarder vs. a collector. Or so I tell myself. ūüôā Okay, g2g. It’s Prime Day and I’ve gotta check our their sunglasses before it’s over!

small victories [baby spoons]

spoons | the original mb

Yes SPOONS; of the silicone variety. I picked these up the other day at Target while shopping for other, more important things. An upcoming milestone has firmly planted itself in the forefront of my brain since our last visit with the pediatrician, and I’ve been counting down the days. JJ’s almost 4 months old and that means that he can start eating real food, you guys! As self-proclaimed foodies it just makes us want to jiggle with joy! It’s been an ongoing discussion in our house ¬†– what will his first food be? So far it looks like it’s coming down to an avo or a banana. Not super thrilling but we’ve got to start somewhere. Of course, safe and basic is best in this case. Pump the brakes on that truffle oil, Mya. But let’s be real, Baby J will be sampling the good stuff before you can say Stracciatella. Fish, cheese, pasta, weird seasonal fruits and veggies, ALL of it. Can you tell that we’re determined not to have a picky eater? Please oh please, wish us luck!

 

On a side note: My Ma still has a couple of my baby spoons from when I was little. It’s sweet to see them whenever I open the silverware drawer at her house. I hope to keep these forever assuming that they hold up!

Remember that show COPS?

Did you watch COPS in the 90’s? Oh man, I did! <raises hand> On the regs. I remember it being on during a time slot that my brother and I would routinely watch TV; late afternoon/early evening perhaps. From what I recall about that show, the entertainment value lied in watching people interact with, evade and defy the law. You had your meth heads, your gangsters, your lousy drivers, families having domestic disputes, drunks, etc. People from all walks of life – but many from the fringe of society. There were lots of hot pursuits. There were lots of people being pulled over. There were lots of people approached for petty crimes. There were lots of times when the cops would surely be fearful for their own safety. There were lots of times when the situation would escalate quickly. However, from what my young mind remembers, there were NOT a lot of times where shooting first and thinking later occurred. ¬†Talking back and questioning why you’re being arrested didn’t automatically equal being shot to death on the spot. Nor did resisting arrest. (White) People would wave guns around in the air all willy-nilly and still live to tell about it. What’s my point you ask?! ¬†Just yesterday, two stories broke that involved black men dying at the hands of overzealous police officers. Reading about this stuff each day takes the breath right out of my lungs and sets my stomach on fire. What has become of our country? Our world? Make no mistake- this is authentic, systemic racism caught on film. Those that try to reason their way out of the obvious say things like “Well they should’ve listened to the cop! Then there wouldn’t be a problem!” or “He ran. Obviously he was guilty of something.” or “If the cop feared for his safety, he had the right.” or “(listing the prior details, however minute, of the person’s life as if that’s justification for being murdered in cold blood).” It has really opened my eyes to see people that I’ve once called friends or classmates justify a point blank murder, just because the killer was wearing blue. According to their logic, most of the people that appeared on COPS could and should have been fairly executed for any of the following offenses:

  • selling CD’s
  • tail light out
  • running away
  • reaching into your pocket to produce identification when asked
  • simply being in police custody
  • etc,etc,etc
  • being black at the wrong place and the wrong time

But who would want to watch that? Truly, my mind is boggled and my heart is sickened. How come when I think back on the show COPS I can’t conjure any images where people were killed on the spot without due process? What’s different now? Why is shooting to kill the first line of defense for these police officers? Aren’t they trained to do anything else? I have so many questions. I’m completely befuddled. And also, helpless. As I write this there are still helicopters circling over my apartment from the protests happening in Oakland today. They’ve been going round and round for about 2.5 hours now. Just outside of my window, the city is rebelling. I’m not removed from this situation. This is real and it affects me deeply. I’m agitated and my chest is tight. I’m worried. Most of all I just don’t know what the fuck to do. What can I…me…as a woman…as a mom…as a wife…as a daughter…as an American…as a woman of color do? Please tell me. This has to stop.

 

#blacklivesmatter

 
*NOTE: I’ve made a choice to abstain from watching any more videos of these tragedies. I’m not into snuff films. Instead, I read about each case (on an array of credible news sites) as they occur.

independence day 2016

independence day 2016 | the original mb04

independence day 2016 | the original mb06
independence day 2016 | the original mb05

independence day 2016 | the original mb07

 

independence day 2016 | the original mb03

This year we celebrated America’s birthday over the course of a few days. Holly had to work on the 4th so we had to be creative with it. We made some r, w & b foods + corn dogs from scratch.¬†I got the recipe for the cake pictured above from Pinterest, as one does, and¬†ended up botching¬†it to high hell.¬†It’s supposed to be angel food cake with coconut cream and fresh berries. The cake turned out denser than George Dubya. I mean, it was embarrassing! JJ and I took a trip over to the City to visit the wife at work. The weather in SF was not very patriotic. Chilly, grey, foggy; and the City was a complete ghost town. Hmph. All that matters though is that we got to spend time together and celebrate in little pieces here and there. We’ll do better next year. Happy Birthday, my beautiful country. xo

oakland art

oakland art | the original mb

oakland art | the original mb

oakland art | the original mb

If I could, I’d ride around all day and photograph the beautiful works of art that adorn our city. Oakland has tons of murals, in every neighborhood. Even our garbage cans have ever-changing mosaics applied to them. This isn’t graffiti it’s straight up art. On one of our usual morning walks we stopped by a mural that’s in our ‘hood. It’s pretty fresh so the colors are super vivid. Don’t ask me what it all means. The walls were connected but one proudly read ‘ROOTS’ and the other said ‘RUN.’ Why? Dunno. I just see pretty things and take a pic of it for memory’s sake.The art culture of Oakland is something that H and I will indubitably miss when we leave this great place. For now, we gaze, maybe snap a pic and enjoy.

 

UPDATE 7/5/16: H lovingly explained to me that the mural means ROOTS RUN DEEP. I told her that I don’t remember seeing that third word ‘DEEP’ anywhere on the mural. But, this makes a helluva lot more sense. Thanks, dear.

<laughs sheepishly>

fruit + mint

fruit + mint | the original mb

Doesn’t this picture just make you salivate? In the summertime there’s nothing like a quenching, gorgeous, colorful fruit salad to make you feel alright. Sliced fresh fruit is divine itself but this dish has some extra dynamite. I threw in some chopped mint leaves and tossed the salad with a light, minty simple syrup. My wife is the syrup-maker in our household but I found this easy recipe that shows you how. Go ahead. Give your summer fruit salad a minty boost!

a bump is the best accessory

a bump is the best accessory| the original mb01

a bump is the best accessory | the original mb

a bump is the best accessory| the original mb04

a bump is the best accessory| the original mb02

a bump is the best accessory | the original mb

a bump is the best accessory | the original mb

a bump is the best accessory | the original mb

Dontcha think? A baby bump is, without a doubt, the best accessory a woman can wear. I loved maternity fashion. It does get a bit old towards the end when everything feels so small but aside from that I appreciated the sartorial challenge. Maybe during my next pregnancy I’ll do a more specific ‘maternity fashion’ type of series. Maybe. For now though, please enjoy this¬†photographic¬†mashup of baby¬†Juju baking in the oven. xo

small victories [ikea]

a small victory at Ikea | the original mb

a small victory at Ikea | the original mb

Now that I’ve written the title of this post, I’m thinking I should make this into a series. There are lots of little things that happen in life that are kinda-sorta insignificant to everyone else but you. Today, one such thing happened. I took my son, the baby, to Ikea. I know, I know – don’t everybody trip over themselves¬†trying to pat me on the back! You guys, this was actually pretty darn big for me. Even before JJ was born, I always held the false¬†belief¬†that I wouldn’t be caught dead struggling with a crying, unruly child in a store. I don’t take him with me on important errands because of that fear and we’ve had our groceries delivered since he was born. Thank you, Instacart. I understand that one day I’ll be out of options and it will happen. I get that. But NOT TODAY SATAN! I got up, got dressed, downed some coffee and off we went to Michael’s and Ikea. JJ cried in the car on the way to Michael’s but not in the store. He stayed equally sane for the 50 minutes that we were in Ikea (I take alllll the shortcuts, girl). I even fit lunch in while I was there! He did lose his shit¬†on the drive home, though. But still! A victory for this mama. Hooray!

Pictured: Some Ikea artificial foliage on our small patio. Originally we were going to try and grow some grass out there in pots but we got lazy. There’s a time and a place for fake plants – weddings NO patios YES