August 30, 2011

Sleeping Problems

On our trip to Miami back in July, Emilu started miraculously sleeping through the night. And continued to do so at home. When we were in NYC visiting my brother a few weeks back, she was still sleeping through the night.  But a few weeks ago,  for some unknown reason, she stopped. She's almost 4 months now.   She used to go down around 11 p.m. and pass out 'till around 5 a.m.  However, good things come to an end, and so they did. 

When she hit 3 months, she started waking up in the middle of the night, wailing.  We thought it was a growth spurt and hoped she would snap out of it.  Here we are and she hasn't. I'd nurse her back to sleep, we'd change her diapers, we'd rock her and shush until she went back to sleep.  Last night she woke up 3 times!   You inevitably ask yourself, what could we be doing wrong?  As soon as she starts stirring, I go to her and start shushing and patting her bum, and when  it's not hunger, this seems to work half the time. The other half, she just wants to be held.  This has continued for 3 weeks now.  It's like going back to the first weeks after birth.  I'm exhausted again.  And now everyone is saying that when she starts getting cereal, night sleeping will be much longer.  Is this true?  Could it be hunger and only that?  Or is my baby a high needs baby at night? What was your experience at this age? Personally I'm torn in between the sleep trainers or crying-out methods, which advocate letting your baby cry until she falls back asleep and the nurturers or attachment parenting.  Most mothers fall in between.

All I know is that this business of motherhood is completely subjective.  What may work for some mothers and babies, may not work for others.  As much as babies are babies, they are still individuals who experience stimuli in different ways. You know you are in good hands when you've tried different systems and found the one that works best for you.

August 26, 2011

Cute things

Today, I'm leaving work early.  After being hit with an earthquake this week, District residents are preparing for yet another natural phenomenon, Hurricane Irene.  I heard people have evacuated in parts of the Carolinas, and the New York City subway system will shut down. So much for the city that doesn't sleep. I started a list. I got candles and batteries this morning.  I still have to get baby's milk and water.

I hope you all stay safe and dry.  But, before I sign off, here's a few links to brighten your otherwise stormy weekend.

Unique posters and postcards Hi. Posters.Ok. Postcards.Ok

Creative Art work 

Beautiful handmade baskets and wallets

Looking for an inspirational blog? Longest Acres might be your answer.

And while we are at it, pick up a copy of Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver before the warm season is over, it will make you understand a few things about nature, summer and love.

Get your fix of little girls' rooms

I'm dying to see this film.

Also do you know Mafalda?  She was an Argentinian girl from the 60's with a huge load on her shoulders, she literally carried the world.

And who doesn't love a good deal.  Check out apartment's therapy best sites for daily deals.  It won't disappoint.

Have a lovely weekend. 

August 25, 2011

It's all about Design

When it comes to design, are you home, personal or both? It's always a treat to see bloggers who are accomplished in both. But whether home is where the heart style is or personal fashion is your thing, design should always address comfort and creativity, and juggling both can be both rewarding and draining (literally), think $$$.

Emerson Made style

I'd like to think that my design forte is the home. At home is where my creativity flows, whether it is cooking or displaying art in a wall. I follow more design blogs than fashion ones and one of my favorite channels is HGTV.

Living room in my previous loft. Circa 2009
Foyer table
How about you? When it comes to design, do you opt for the fashionable pair of skinny jeans and the oversized sweater or the swanky ghost chair with the outdoor stool?

August 24, 2011

Happy Baby =Happy Mom

Emilu wakes up with a flowery face every morning.  She's all made up with smiles, as if she knows that this tickles my heart.  It just melts me in all the right places when she does that.  She's also started to giggle.  I love that sound.  The first time it came out of nowhere.  Now she's doing it more often.  But the amazing cool thing is how much she loves to stare at her image in the mirror.  She gyrates with pleasure and cracks me up every time.

Unfortunately by the time the flash kicked in, she had stopped laughing.  Like a game of " Statue". She could be cracking up in her crib and as soon as I bust out the camera, she stops.  Can you see a pattern here?  She's learning so fast. 

It's a bomb! A plane! No, it's an earthquake! Really?!

By now everyone has their own glossy version of where they were when they felt the 5.9 quake that shook the East Coast yesterday afternoon  The scene that unfolded in Capitol Hill, as people poured out of buildings, was the epitome of what would unfold before our eyes in a potentially disastrous situation.

Uff! That was close!  We Washingtonians got the scare of our lives being so close to the 9/11 Anniversary.   
But people in California scoffed at our reactions.  Their attitudes infuriated many here.  Because Southern Californians live with it everyday doesn't make it less fearful for some of us who don't live with it EVERYDAY, until now.  But hey, now we can say to those sultry Californians with un-prudish pride to shove their rugged attitudes up where the sun doesn't shine, because it turns out that we Washingtonians are sitting on a sparky tectonic plate, that for all we know has just begun to shift.  And of course, we can't dismiss New Yorkers' reactions, having experienced 9/11 so deeply those wounds are still fresh.
When I got home Emilu was sleeping soundly in my mother in-law's lap.  The only casualty I found was this wooden toy broken in two pieces.  It was sitting on the top shelf of her nursery wall.

And then it hit me:  How lucky we were yesterday.  We are home safe.

August 22, 2011

The Fiat 500

The new Fiat 500 is so darn cute. They've been sprouting here and there around the city.  Need a good reason to buy one? Here's 75.

August 21, 2011

I'm on Pinterest!

Did you know you can pin almost any image on the web to your personal, virtual pinboard?  Imagine a board of ideas, images, sketches, photos, and textures that you can take anywhere and share with everyone.  That's the idea behind Pinterest. It's so easy and amazingly fun and addictive!

Best of all, you can follow all the boards you like and pin images from those boards to yours.  Come check it out and follow me!  I'd love to share my ideas and images with you.

August 19, 2011

Etsy fever

Have you checked out Etsy lately?  I have been on a Etsy withdrawal.  I have my eye on a few items. When you create a profile on Etsy, you can save your favorite items to view every time you want. Inspired by these blue french doors I saw in a eatery in Brooklyn, I'm loving these items right now:

Set of mirrors for a gallery wall or entry way.

Poster frame, hung or stacked against the wall in your living or study.

The Waldorf Rainbow Stacker toy, perfect for sparking imagination and honing creativity. 

Striped green straws, perfect for summer cocktails in the patio.

Zodiac sign print from PaperBlue. Show off your sign strong points by displaying them in a cute frame.

Flower earring studs

Cute Flamingo tee for baby and toddler.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Do you like where you live?

I love our neighborhood of Dupont Circle.  It's a premium real estate land in the District, and even though we are renters, we definitely pay up for the local  amenities.  But in this stage of our lives we wouldn't change it for the world.  Now that we have Emilu, we like to stay as long as possible.  A mortgage is the next sensible step, but we aren't in any hurry especially when this city is not a buyer's market like it might be in the rest of the country.

Everything in Dupont Circle is within walking distance, including supermarkets, coffeshops, locally-owned hardware stores, trendy boutiques, as well as some of the city’s best restaurants and bars. Dupont’s buzz and commerce is Connecticut Avenue, which is bisected by the circle and packed with stores, restaurants, and bars humming with activity. North of the circle, the street is home to traditional favorites like Kramerbooks, one of the city’s best bookstores and popular cafes, and upscale wine bars Circa and Veritas. Hanks Oyster Bar, a local seafood eatery a block from our apt. is a great place to eat and unwind.  President Obama chose Komi, a local restaurant known for its progressive and rich course-meal dinners, to celebrate his anniversary with Michelle back in 2009.

Then there are the intangibles: freebies like the circle itself, which fills up on sunny weekends; a new dog park at 17th and S Street; and miles of bike lanes crisscrossing the neighborhood. On Sunday mornings, residents from all over the city flock to the neighborhood’s farmer’s market, the largest in the city, and pack the coffee houses with their iMacs, and copies of the Sunday NYTimes.

Do you like where you live?  What's so special about it?  Have a lovely weekend in your neighborhood basking in the last weeks of sun-filled summer days.

August 18, 2011

Creating your own Phone App

If you own an Android phone you can now create your own apps, including creating one for your blog.  I just did it! Now I will be able to blog from my phone with the same capacity as writing from a computer.  Awesome indeed!  I can finally see why an Android was the Smartest phone choice for me.

Breatsfeeding vs. Formula feeding, the never ending discussion

I'm still breastfeeding Emilu.  However, I don't do it exclusively. I give formula at a 50/50 rate.  There are many reasons for this, but the most enduring one was the inability to keep up with the proscribed lifestyle.  Breastfeeding demands a lot. It comes down to a choice because the cons of breastfeeding are there, whichever way they like to remain unseen.  These include sore and painful nipples for several weeks, engorgement effects, leakage, dietary limitations, and constrained mobility or freedom to enjoy the tasks you used to do, and the one thing no one challenges, the myth of shedding faster the baby weight.

Ha! Finally a study says it :  Breastfeeding moms lost weight slower than moms who chose formula from the start. Why?  Because breastfeeding moms had less opportunity to exercise AND because lactating moms consume more calories because the hormone prolactin stimulates appetite and thus prompts milk production.

I finally have an answer as to why I haven't been able to lose the last ten pounds.  But you know what bothers me and also scares me to death.  That they tell women that breastfeeding makes them lose weight faster and they have been able to get away with this. Doctors. My own brother told me so.  It makes me mad because it assumes that women are stupid and vane and in order to make them choose breastfeeding over formula feeding they have to appeal to what seems to be their superficial, trivial side, our Achilles heel, when it's really not. It is in our sociological  makeup to want to be trim.

There is no argument that breastmilk is better than formula as long as you keep getting nutritious food and continue to keep a healthy lifestyle, the one you had when you were pregnant.  But today's formulas are just as good in the nutrition department.  Where breastmilk takes the lead is in preventive care, because it contains hormones, anti-bodies and enzymes.

So let's put it to rest: Women should not be shamed into breastfeeding their children. It's just not for everyone. 

August 16, 2011

Toddling in New York

We drove up to New York City last weekend to visit my brother and brother in-law.  It was a fun adventure.  We put the dog in the front seat and my mother and I rode in the back with Emilu.  We made our usual stop in Delaware and arrived in one piece two hours later.  This trip was sort of an overdue family and friends reunion, packed with good food.  I was glad to catch up with a friend from Miami who has a very cool NYC style blog, and visit with my brother in-law and fiancee.  Here are some pictures of our outings.

Naughty little face, en route to NYC

I love this picture because it shows her multifaceted gestures.  Here I was telling her that we were almost there.

Mom with  Emilu.  Lunch stop in Delaware. 

PIki, our first -class passenger
At the Brooklyn flea in Fort Greene. 

The Techies, Edgar and my brother.

En route to Manhattan