Saturday, February 28, 2009

pretty little thing

the other day i was at diesel books in oakland, and i saw this tiny little cellophane wrapped book. no title, no description, no way to peek inside. but the outside of it was so pretty, and the wrapping had a little sticker on it that said it was a collaboration between  Jón Þór Birgisson (singer for Sigur Rós, who i love) and Alex Somers (his partner, but his name on the sticker meant nothing to me until i looked it up when i got home.) i figured that it likely had a similar visual aesthetic to the band's aural aesthetic, so i got it, sight unseen, as a little present for matt.
i had such self control that i waited and let matt open it up. it's pretty. and haunting. i just wish the book itself, and therefore the images as well, was a bit bigger. but it's a tiny little treasure...and i think we need more little surprise treasures in our lives.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

little m's surgery day!

i honestly can't believe that little m's surgery has happened
it was such a fight for it to happen, with so many ups and downs along the way...
we left our house at 5:30 to get to stanford in time to check in. 
we took lots of pictures and video along the way since when little m is bigger this day will be such an important part of her personal history!
grandma and grandpa drove up to meet us early and be there for the surgery. m was silly as can be, despite the early wake up call and no breakfast. she was crawling around in the waiting room and climbing on us as we waited to be called in.
little i.d. band for our little patient. 
her surgery took place in the regular surgery facility, 
so she was the only tiny person in the pre-op and post-op areas! 
they were scrambling to find her a teeny gown and socks. 
our nurse couldn't figure out how to get her blood pressure with the equipment she had, so there seemed to be some makeshift action going on...
m was very playful as the nurse took her vitals and got her ready.
waiting with her daddy for the doctor to fill us in + give us the okay
dr. ort, one of the doctors from california ear institute came and initialed m by each ear
it was a little scary to hand m over to the anesthesiologist and say goodbye, 
but he was so friendly and experienced that it really reassured us. 
m was fixated on his hat so we watched them walk down the long hallway. 
we just stood there for a couple of minutes hugging and praying that our baby would be safe, and then went out to wait.
some of us read, paced, chatted, texted...
sometimes while we waited we were surrounded by lots of friends and family
other times it was a little more on the quiet side
i kept looking up at the big computer screen that tracked all of the procedures for the day. 
it kind of reminded me of the screen at the dmv, 
when you are waiting for your number to pop up...

finally they finished the surgery!!!! and came out to get us.
but only one parent could go back and be with her. without even asking i said, "i'll go!" and left matt in the dust. 
dr. roberson (who i think is fabulous) came by to fill me in on the surgery; 
he said everything had gone as well as possible, 
and that m had done a great job!

she alternated between sleeping and being very upset and inconsolable as she came out of the anesthesia. they had no room for us in the children's hospital, so matt and i took turns holding her in the recovery room. it was a very long wait, from about 11 when the surgery finished to 6 pm. um, yeah. 7 hours of tag-team baby holding until they could locate a room for her. 
they just wanted to monitor her overnight since she's only ten months old.

unfortunately, the room they finally got us was in the pediatric oncology wing. 
and we had to share, so we traipsed in to this poor little boy's room who is fighting freaking cancer. 
a four year old + cancer. 
it kind of put a damper on us post-surgery.
i am not kidding you, 
it always puts things in perspective for me to spend a couple of minutes (or the night) 
in a children's hospital. 
we may have quite the road ahead of us with little m,
 but our journey will be a lot easier than many others'.
we figured m was slowly recovering when she dove into a bowl of cheerios, although her fine motor skills were, well, a little on the slow motion side of things...
for once our little one was snuggle city 
(how did i, queen of snuggling, end up with a non-snuggly baby i'll never know...)
be fooled by this photo. 
my daughter did not sleep in her crib.
m slept until about 9 pm and then she was awake all night long. 
we walked the halls, i.v. in tow, and made friends with the nurses, flipped through the channels on the lounge's tv, and looked at the art lining the walls.
the next morning her doctor came and took off her fancy purple bandages, 
and said we were free to go!
now she just has small band-aids over her incision sites (behind each of her ears); 
we head back to the surgeon next week to make sure it all looks good, but she seems to be adjusting to her old self!
we will go in a few weeks to get the external portion of her implants, and to get them mapped, which is when she will get sound in those lil' ears!


too much going on lately to visit etsy, my very favorite website (matt would say my fav is facebook, but i have a web-crush on etsy too), so i stopped by tonight, now that m's surgery is over and we are returning to real life.

saw this awesome peacock feather necklace on the brass menagerie's shop, and remembered why etsy kicks butt. 
last week aunt robyn came to visit and she and little m spent some quality time looking out at the rainy world from our front window. 

{love this}

amazing brownies

i usually leave brownie making to my friend nancy or my sister rebecca: both of them are brownie baking queens, and why mess with brownie making perfection? besides, you know how it goes: people who are good at baking things also like being complimented on baking their speciality. therefore, if you ever say, "i LOVE your (fill in the blank yummy treat item)," you are likely to receive said baked item shortly. it's just how it goes. bakers are good people and they like to make your treat dreams come true.

anyway, last week i kind of was in the baking mood. we had just gotten some flour, so i was pouring the big flour bags into our canisters, when i spotted the recipe for "best ever brownies"on the bag of the king arthur flour bag. um, hello, best ever? on the back of a flour bag? hmm. now, the thing is, about 10 years ago, my brother aaron and i baked a chocolate chip recipe of of the back of a competing flour company's bag and they were amazing (but needing a few tweaks, which i have since made, and those cookies ROCK.) 

so, since brownies and chocolate chip cookies are both things that far too many people bake poorly, i was dubious, but craving yumminess and remembering the successful flour bag chocolate chip recipe. (ok, maybe not poorly, but how many just average cc cookies or brownies have you had? i've had far too many in my lifetime. just saying. it's crazy how butter, sugar, and chocolate can fail so miserably when combined, but i've had enough so-so baked goods to admit that there are a lot of lame recipes out in the world.) 

and yet somehow, the flour companies get it right...these brownies were (in my opinion) perfect. so good. so. freaking. good.

now, go forth and bake, my friends; and then share your bounty with someone you love:

1 1/4 c Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 c king arther unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (1 tsp if using unsalted butter)
1 c butter
2 c chocolate chips
4 large eggs
2 1/4 c sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat, then add the sugar & stir this to mix. Return the mixture to the heat or microwave briefly, just until it's hot but not bubbling. It will become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the butter & sugar a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies. (I didn't do that part and hey turned out fine; I just melted and mixed) Transfer the mix to a mixing bowl. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, & vanilla. Add the eggs, beating till smooth; then add the flour & chips. Beat until well mixed. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 28-30 mins, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it. (I baked for 24 minutes, because I hate dry overcooked brownies. I just waited til the batter looked like it had set.) The brownies should feel set both around the edges & in the center. Remove from the oven, & after 5 mins loosen the edges with a table knife, this will help prevent the brownies from sinking in the center as they cool. Cool completely before cutting & serving. Call me and invite me over to share. yum!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

{little m right after her surgery chillaxing}
little m's surgery was a great success, and i'll have more tomorrow.
today we hung out and recovered after a looooong night 
in which little m decided to rock it as a party girl and stay up 
all. night.long. 
did i mention all
we are soooo tired, but also thankful.

we are thrilled that she is returning to normal; 
that is, grabbing cheerios by the handful and stuffing them in her mouth 
and trying to climb and crawl everywhere.

Monday, February 23, 2009

update on little m's implant surgery

everything went great! we get to see our little mummy baby soon!


surgery day!

well, after quite the night- in which little m decided to channel her first three months of life and wake up throughout the night and SCREAM at the top of her lungs repeatedly and for extended stretches of time (maybe she had a premonition that surgery was today?) - we made it to the hospital early this morning.

little m sang and talked to herself the whole way down in the car; i think she was extra joyful that for once she got to wake up as early as she wanted to! she seemed quite pleased with the world, which was a nice surprise since i thought she would be hungry and therefore crankypants. we hung out in pre-op for a while, and m charmed other patients, her nurses, doctor and anesthesiologist with giggles and smiles. a few minutes ago we handed her over to her anesthesiologist, who reassured us that she would be fine and that he would take care of her like she was his own daughter. she was so fixated on his colorful hat that she did not even realize that she was saying goodbye to us!

so now, we wait. hopefully we'll get to see our little munchkin in a few hours.

xoxo from all three of us

happy monday!!!!

we are busy getting m's cochlear implants put into her teeny tiny cochleas. 
be back soon!

(you look supercute today, that's why we are smiling so big)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


well, the big day has finally arrived! 

after a big long battle, and a few last minute scares that the surgery would be cancelled, it looks like tomorrow morning, february 23rd is our big day! little m will be having her bilateral cochlear implant surgery bright and early at 8:30 am! we have to get there by 6:30 am, so our little family will be up when it is still dawn, getting ready to head to the hospital. (so this post will be short, as i have to wake her up at midnight to feed her and then wake up at 5 to get ready)

little m should be out of surgery by 11 am, and looking like a little mummy, her head all wrapped up in bandages. 

we'll fill you in as things progress, but we are just thrilled that this day is finally here!

(um, p.s. she won't hear anything automatically after surgery. she has to get activated in a few weeks...more on that later. besos to all!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

snip snip chop chop

i wasn't really planning on doing anything drastic this week; 
but then my hair stylist and friend maryann called me back saying 
she had a last minute cancellation and, 
could i come in in an hour?

here's the thing: 
i used to do lots of fun stuff to my hair - 
it was super short, medium short, red, brown, black, stripey, curly, straight...
and then for the last, oh, seven or eight years it has been same old same old. 
so i told maryann she could have her way with my hair: 
"chop it off if you want. but no mom cut." 
(you know, i may be a mom, 
but i don't have to look like a frumpy and short-functional-but-no-cute-haircut mom, right?)
um, she did. it's kind of short. 
but saucy, and fun. 
and who doesn't need a new haircut? 
new year, new me, right?
here are all of the longest layers, saved in a ponytail so that i can mail it in to locks of love.
so, goodbye long hair!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

{good morning}

everyone needs a place to sit small small
talk about the day
share a meal with your favorite person
{two lattes, one for me + one for you, and some morning treats}
today may not be that day - it is rainy and dreary-but sometime soon?
maybe you will have that kind of morning
{if so, enjoy}

Monday, February 16, 2009


inspired by my baking cohort ren, i whipped up some sweet valentine's day treats this week.

why do sprinkles and frosting make me so happy?
{they were so cute i couldn't help but share lots of pictures}

a day in the life...

little m has full fridays: it's the day she has therapy at her school, and often the day she also has audiology appointments. the good thing is that it's matt's day off, so we can all go together; the bad thing is that it's matt's day off, so it's not really much of a day off.
here's a sneak peek at one of our fridays:
in the car, ready to drive to school at 7 am, tea + grapefruit to go.
the beginning of our drive when we'd all rather be snuggled in bed...
aunt robyn, in town for a visit, feeds little m some breakfast in the backseat.

ah, the joys of 880 south
i make phone calls: to our insurance to try and get her surgery approved, to the let them hear lawyer to check in, and to her doctor to make appointments.
we get down to her audiology appointment early and none of the hole in the wall places nearby are open for breakfast, so we resort to the only restaurant open: mcdonald's (little m's first time visiting the golden arches. sadly, she was mesmerized...) 
back on the road and headed to see the audiologist.
waiting at california ear institute. (they have really good magazines for a doctor's office...)
little m has a test in the sound proof booth to check what she is hearing with her hearing aids. aunt robyn holds her while annie and jennifer do the test. 
turns out, she's getting a teensy bit, but it isn't that much. 
there's always a little pain in my heart when the sound is getting louder and louder and little m isn't hearing any of it.
one appointment down! back in the car, and back on the phone with insurance.
we drive around for an hour so little m can take a nap in her car seat.
we have enough time to stop for some coffee before it's time to got to school.
we stop in the bookstore next door to peets when matt gets a phone call from his secretary. she says it looks like a fax came in approving her surgery with the correct surgery date, doctor and hospital! things are looking good!
back in the car to head for therapy with sharon! we love sharon and sharon loves little m.
little m is brilliant during therapy. as usual. no bias of course!
we work on all sorts of developmental things incorporating sound. 
here we hid a bird in this box and tried to see if m could figure out where the bird disappeared to + retrieve it from the box. 
then we make sounds associated with the bird, and do lots of, "i hear you want that? i want that.." we say those three sentences A LOT.
smartypants gets the bird. why she loves this ugly vulture toy is beyond me, but she does.
halfway through therapy 
we get a phone call from our advocate that little m's surgery is for sure! 
we are so excited!
(you may wonder what m is sitting in...we have to cover up all of the toys on this exersaucer with a  blanket during therapy so she doesn't get distracted and play with them instead of focusing on what we want her to play with.)
an hour later therapy is done, we make the hour drive home! 
it's finally nice and sunny outside.
finally home, it's time for some lunch 
then a nap for this busy little girl (not to mention the rest of us).