In celebration of my husband's upcoming birthday in April and Quinn's impending escape from my womb in June, I booked the family a hopefully-relaxing trip to Maui. By the time we go, le huz will have finished launching a project at work, and I will have wrapped up two of my own. Le sigh. Of relief! A charging of spirits is much-deserved after months of hard work on the part of le huz, and a last-hurrah for the rest of Olive & Co. before the cycle of sleepless nights begins is an absolute necessity.
White-sand beaches and clear waters for Olive. Spam musubis and snow cones for le huz and me. My inner manatee* is ready to be unleashed.
* I've gained 26 lbs to date, but have two plus months to go. Eek!
Brunching with her Pa and Ma at the new Ace Hotel in Downtown LA
Conversations with Olive
What's baba's name?
What's your doggy's name?
What's mommy's name?
Olive's sitter is out-of-town this week, so I've been juggling her school and social schedule with my work schedule. Madness, I tell you. Madness! But I do realize that all the extra time we've had together these past few days is a blessing in disguise. Once the baby is born, quality time alone with my toddler will be hard to come by. That said, I'm trying my best to savor our precious moments together... with much patience!
Baby Quinn may not be due until June, but I'm already in nesting mode. Last year, le huz and I enlisted my design crushes, Krista Schrock and David John Dick of DISC Interiors to transform Casa de Olive y Beans into a comfy, yet tailored space. In all likelihood, I will be on lockdown with two little ones and a breast pump for the rest of 2014, so investing in the beautification of our 85 year-old senior-citizen-of-a-crib seemed like a no-brainer. I considered taking on the arduous task of working out the interiors myself but felt the benefits from working with and learning from my idols were worth pursuing. Luckily my frugal-but-loving-and-understanding husband agreed.
Like any good fan-girl, I performed my fair share of digital stalking of the talented duo before contacting them. There wasn't a single sampling of their work that my husband and I disliked, so it was easy for us to hand over all reigns to Krista and David - subject to a budget, of course. I loved that they understood our need for a livable space (dogs and babies roam our home) and shared my love for a classic palette and appreciation for the teeniest of design details. I actually salivate over pretty hardware. Who does that?!? During our design journey, I was introduced to artisans, materials and textiles I had only read about in glossy magazines or admired in blogs. What a treat and privilege to have had their guidance on executing our idea of the dream home. Talented, kind and unassuming, Krista and David are interior design unicorns.
Some of the pieces we ended up purchasing have yet to arrive, but the following images provide a taste of the space that lucky Baby Quinn will be welcomed into. To think that I didn't even have a decorated baby room ready for Olive when she emerged. Winston Churchill was quoted as having said, "We shape our homes and then our homes shape us." Perhaps this explains why she was so angry during her first year of life. See? All of this? Worth it.
In my next life, I'd like to be reborn as either Tina Fey (I lurv her) or an incredibly chic gay man. For whenever I flip open an issue of Elle Decor, Architectural Digest (or when I'm feeling particularly "fahnnnncy", an issue of World of Interiors), I find it difficult not to fall in love with the fearless interior work of some gent with an eye for bohemian-luxe. Inviting rooms are layered with texture, color, print and evidence of a well-traveled life; yet nary in sight are the cheesy tchotchkes that fill up my everyday life. These fellas' lives are are carefully edited, and their homes are never short of fresh-cut flowers and fiddle leaf figs. I bet Ina Garten and Jeffrey would have me over at her Hamptons pad, like, all the time...
My natural design instinct isn't "more is more", but I'd like to think that I too, possess a personal style. Not just with respect to my closet, but my renovation and interior designs as well. I aspire to create relaxed, inviting spaces. I like embracing the traditional and old and peppering it with a little "sumthin' sumthin'". Yes. I just typed those words for the world (aka all 10 followers of my blog) to read. I appreciate clean lines, but I'm no minimalist. And not a work day goes by that I don't consider that Don Draper line, "Make it simple, but significant." That's right. I just quoted an imaginary man...
While I have a look that I prefer, I ultimately look to my clients for final approval. I'm in the business of service, and unlike some of the fahnnnnncy decorators featured on Million Dollar Decorators (I miss that show so much), I actually care if the final product I deliver is sustainable for my clients. I can tablescape and style the heck out of a space for a photo shoot, but what good is it if my clients find their home un-liveable?
Anyhow.... there really isn't too much of a point to this blog entry other than to share an image of my new business cards with y'all. The talented Aileen Cheng did all the dirty work after reviewing the Pinterest board I pulled together with images I felt best described the feel of my business. We decided to go with a palette of navy and warm white with matte copper foil text. I love the final outcome... hope y'all do as well.
Ay-yai-yai... The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Olive and a mini Sprinkles cupcake.
Gone in 60 seconds.
I love my baby girls - the entertaining lunatic pictured above (Olive) as well as the one who's currently incubating in my rapidly growing belly (Quinn). I am so unbelievably grateful for their presence in my life and truly can't imagine an existence without them. Life is very good, and I really shouldn't complain.
With that said...
I am having a really hard time accepting, let alone embracing, what's become of my face and body this second time around the block. Only 27 weeks into my pregnancy, I am feeling as large as I felt when pregnant with Olive at 41 weeks. My belly, as expected, is massive. It's the presidential suite of wombs! But my cheeks? Both face and ass are already huge. My already small eyes are looking smaller by the day on my pudgy face, and to make matters worse, pregnancy hormones are causing hyperpigmentation of my skin, resulting in freckles and dark spots appearing on my fat face that weren't there before. I don't consider myself a vain person, but I am a visual person, and what I see in my reflection is saddening. I don't feel pretty.
I want to be as confident and effortlessly hot as the mothers profiled on The Glow and other tastemakers' blogs, but my protruding navel, belly fuzz, National Geographic nipples, neck rolls and ooh, custard thighs have me feeling like a high-speed bullet train headed for Ugly Town. And I can't stop the ride...
According to my physician, I'm physically fine. (A relief to hear.)
So I'm supposed to be this ugly?!
The light at the end of my tunnel is knowing that I'll soon be cradling TWO baby girls in my arms. Double the crazy. Double the fun. What's a little baby fat in the meantime, yeah?
My little weirdo and her cousin, Aiden cheesing it up at Disneyland earlier today.
If that's the case, Olive's odds for finding bliss are pretty darn good.
(Source of quote unknown. I found it via Pinterest)
The distance between my under-boob and top-of-crotch is a short one. So babies I incubate have nowhere to grow and stretch but outwards. As you can imagine, I am looking mighty deformed as of late. I am a pinata on legs, sporting a belly button that couldn't possibly protrude further. I actually have nightmares that my belly button knot would unravel itself and all my innards (amniotic fluids and Baby Quinn included) would gush out of the opening. Too graphic? Okay. Sometimes I overshare.
Manatee bod aside, all is well. I'm feeling as good as I can feel for a 26 week pregnant mama. Ordered a pair of ridiculous Chloe boots I've been eyeing since last summer's trip to London and made a trip to Destination Maternity after work only to haul home a dress and stretchy denim. Figure having new shoes and clothes will make me feel a sliver more attractive than I did last weekend. I had helped throw a baby shower for a friend and ended up wearing my Sunday best - tapered sweat pants. Quite frankly, they were all that I could find that (1) were clean, and (2) fit. Since I'm no supermodel, the sweats actually looked like sweats, and well, let's just say I spent a good deal of time seated in hopes of hiding the business below my massive waistline.
It helps to keep busy during the pregnancy countdown. Appeasing pregnancy snack attacks* and work aside, I've been on pee-pee watch. Olive is two years and two months to date, and we've been potty-training. She's been really good about alerting this old Ma about her need to potty, but there are the occasional "uh-oh"s. Which leads me to share the following piece of valuable info I learned from the almighty Internet with fellow brave Mamas experiencing accidents:
How to Remove Urine Stains from Upholstery
Mix white vinegar + water. Dab stain.
Mix baking powder + water. Dab stain.
Vacuum the stain.
Wait for the stain to dry. Pray while doing so.
Miss Uh-Oh looking like she's just Uh-Oh'd and Le Huz
* Avocado toast. Haagen Daz Peanut Butter Pie ice cream. Chicken Pad Thai. Um, yes, I plan to work out like a mad person two months after delivering Baby Quinn.