13 months

I kind of skipped a few months because life happens.

But, Zola has changed so much lately that I just have to blog about her. She's so inquisitive and industrious at this age... Here is a short list of new things she can do:

- kneel without sitting on her ankles and very well all while she bobs to music, plays with toys, etc.
- open a lid, place something inside, and close the lid - then reverse that.
- put the rings on the pole toy, clap for herself.
- say "ahhhhh!" when she wants you to shovel another bite into her mouth
- walk while holding her wheeled cart-walker toy without falling down (much)
- fall down, get up, go back to whatever it was without crying
- press a button with one finger (or thumb if it takes more torque to press.)
- say "dada" for dad, "mama" for mom, and mimic single syllable sounds you make.
- make a crawling run for it whenever the hall door gets accidentally left open. She really wants to eat the cat litter and can get there in less than 20 seconds.
- fall asleep without her pacifier (but she can't STAY asleep w/out it. She always wakes up a few hours in and cries until you give it to her.)
- pull herself to standing using unstable items without toppling (she just needs something to touch for balance, not pull on.)
- turn the lights on/off, turn the TV on/off/channel, etc.
- pick up all her spilled cheerios and put them back in the bowl by herself, because she wants to.
- on command "where's the baby?" she covers her eyes, then quickly removes them so you'll say "Peek-A-Boo" or "There she is."
- tells you why she is crying. If it's a diaper, she grabs her diaper. If she's hungry, she grabs her tummy. If she's teething, she grabs her mouth. If she's tired, she collapses dramatically (especially if she doesn't want to sleep) and rubs her eyes. If she's frustrated because she can't do something, she hits herself on the head (which never fails to crack me up).

We got some fruit popcycles and gave her one and it might have been the best day of her life. She's still very open to eating whatever we give her and the only things she doesn't care for is plain mashed peas (who can blame her.)


the sequel

Thanks to first trimester screening, I can say that the bump-coming-soon (or one might argue, never left) does not have hemophilia and is a little sister to Zola. I'm due around third week of May.


candids of the monkey

With Eva...With Mommy...

With Tatyana...With Dada...
With food... (she just shoved an entire pretzel in her mouth here)

I finally got around to downloading the old pictures onto the computer. (Now I just have to do the new ones, ha ha!)

So, Zola is every day surprising us with new or advancing little skills and I feel like I can't keep up. She can really get around the room and we are NOT ready for that yet. As I type, I had to get up twice to set her away from the drawers with batteries in them that aren't child-locked yet. I know, I know. We're awful parents. Tell me about it.


Zola - 11 Months

It seems like she was born a few months ago, but she's just a few weeks shy of her first birthday. I can still remember the exact moment that the doctor placed her on my tummy for the first time and the bright, penetrating gaze that she gave me. It sends shivers down my spine. And today, she dropped her sippy cup and said, "Uh-Oh."

We were discussing how to describe becoming a parent, and came to the sad conclusion that all you can do is repeat the clichés. "They change your life" "They grow up so fast" "You never knew what it meant to love before this" and more. But, those statements don't carry any real meaning until that moment when they are your reality... and then the weight of those words is no longer empty and frivolous.

I've really enjoyed being a mom. It's so exhausting and rewarding and wonderful and awful all at the same time.

I'll post some candid pics from this month in a few days.



So I decided that with my family obligations, I can't keep fooling myself that I'm getting anywhere with the actuarial exams.

When I broke the news to my work, they didn't immediately make things easy for me. They made it sound like I had until May to find a new job within or without the company. Ughhh. Not exactly the best time to be unemployed.

So, I put out some feelers with my peeps around the company and got a few calls and an interview right away.

Eva came out for a week and was here during the thick of it. I interviewed for this awesome position on Monday and it went so well that they asked to talk to my supervisor and have me call-in interview with the VP.

This makes my supervisor and her boss nervous, because my plate at work is very full until at least Christmas, so they will have a lot of work to reallocate if I go right away. I think they thought it would be harder for me to find something in this job market. So, they make my job more secure and offer me something indefinitely. This will make it easier to push the salary negotiations with the potential offer and not accept it if it isn't a good move (it was going to break even or a little net negative considering transportation and daycare additions to expense.)

So now that things are feeling a little more stable, I feel like I can post about it. It was pretty hairy for a while.

In other news, aside from pulling my hair the whole time preparing for the job interview and stressing, it was AWESOME to see Me Sista. We scrapbooked, went shopping, had a dinner party, chilled out, and saw a dodgers' game.

Then, the day we took her to the airport to fly back, Mark and I left for our monthly couples retreat. (I decided to take days off every month so we can hang out and be married -- we NEVER see each other and it sucks.) We drove out to Palm Springs, caught an art exhibit, ate some good food, stayed in a not-suckin-hotel and Zola and I even got to swim in a real swimming pool at the hotel. She was so cute in the water, kicking and swimming. Didn't like the back float, but loved the doggie-paddle.

Anyway, I'm off to a BBQ to welcome Mahi's mom from India and then the week begins. Hopefully I'll have some more info about the job prospect soon.


Going Private

Email me or PM me in Facebook if you would like to be made a reader.

I'm sure you saw this coming.


tgi summer-fun-a-rama-DONE

So, I am finally getting around to bringing you up to speed on weeks 11, 12 and life since the conclusion of the whole festival of fun.

Week 11:
We got our craft on, cycled twice, took pics at the hollywood sign, went shopping at melrose AND sunset, went to California Chicken Cafe, got pictures taken at JCP for both Chan and Zola, and went to "Make It Funky" street festival with DJ's, live bands, cool crafts, street artists, etc. Awesome. Again, so inspired I could die.

Week 12:
Breakfast at Charlies Diner, Padres vs. the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Marmalade Cafe and shopping at the Grove, Cycling, Assembling the crib/packing, Dinner at Madhuri's LOST season 1 marathon, Venice Beach, Hiking Topanga Canyon, and finally a tearful goodbye at LAX. We definitely miss our Cha-nanny-gens.

Technically, Week 13 was pretty crazy too. I took 2 days off work so Mark and I could have a weekend together in Santa Barbara. We had reserved a campsite at El Capitan State Beach, but couldn't hear each other over the generators, traffic, and someone drove by in a golf cart. That was the death-knell for our 45 minutes of camping. We went home, drank several bottles of wine and talked into the night.... and spent the next day lounging at the beach. It was nice.

I have caught up on everything, including sleep, since we assembled the crib and have Zola sleeping in her own space now. Ahhh, the bliss of being able to ignore her in the night while she tosses and turns and gets herself back to sleep.

My exam season is well underway, and I am studying for half of part 3 (of 9). It's going okay, but I'm not getting my hopes up on passing or anything. My new job is starting to feel like an old job, and I'm more often working than wondering.

And it is hot in California... so summer is not quite over. Let's hope I don't have any more fun.


week 10 of summer-fun-a-rama

Monday: Cycling

Tuesday: Went to Amoeba and Target. I got the Beatles "Love" album and this rug.

Wednesday: Cycling with Madhuri -- GREAT INSTRUCTOR. I think I lost 20 pounds in this class.

Thursday Night: watched Pleasantville and went shopping and got Zola one of these:
Friday night: Star walk on Hollywood Blvd, Paquito Mas for burritos

Saturday: Went to Chinatown and stumbled upon the 2nd annual renegade craftfair... I went to this last year with Steph and it was so awesome that I practically RAN there when I realized what was going on!

Holy crap, OMG, wow, best day of the year! Got INSPIRED!!!!

We came home, ate and relaxed for a while and then dropped the youngun off at Madhuri's so we could go to a concert at the El Rey to see Pinback. The music was pretty down tempo, but it built up and we rocked out and had an excellent time!

Sunday: Slept in a bit. Went to see Inception. BEST MOVIE this year. Go see it, Internet. You must. Then we came home, took a nap, watched Rebel Without A Cause, and then went back out on the pretext of helping Scott do something and wound up trying to figure out why Hollywood Blvd was closed down with the red carpet out. We never did figure it out because whatever it was had just ended and they were packing up. However, it was a good excuse for an ice blended coffee.


oh and here are some random pics from the past few weeks

week 9 of summer-fun-o-rama

We are definitely winding down (running out of fun-ds) from our Summer-Fun-O-Rama. The run down from last weekend to this weekend:

- Live Jazz at the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum and picnic with a bunch of friends.
- Madhuri's house for lunch, Getty Museum (Gerome Exhibit) with a live band. I just love this painting that we saw. It looks like a photograph!- Pizza and a movie night.
- Chana got a job in the mornings for the hours that we don't need her to do childcare. She is working at a gift shop on Hollywood Blvd that is owned by a couple of friends of mine. We got her oriented with the bus and navigating the city by herself. She's a brave and independent person and it's fun to share her "firsts on her own."
- We went to the Dodgers vs. the Cubs game at Dodgers Stadium with Farhan and Christine, got some Dodgers Dogs, and watched some slaughter on the diamond. (Cubs suck! Sorry, Farhan. But you know it's true.)
- Went to tea at Madhuri's place. Chana got to try Indian snacks and Chai.
- Went shopping at the Beverly center, a "7-story" mall in Beverly Hills. Got a cute owl necklace at Forever 21 that will make Stephanie weep.
- Scrapbooked like crazy, opened the box to my new Cricut (thanks Mom & Dad M for the wonderful bday gift) and cut up some paper like crazy. I'm in love with scrapbooking again.
- Saw Tiffany for a couple of hours.
- Went to a surprise baby shower and Indian party for Archana, a mutual friend I met through Madhuri.

Phew. Do you still care? No? Okay. I will stop blathering.


tales from the scale, volume 1

Let's take the starting point that I just had a baby....I'm not posting any "before" pictures or anything, but I'm sure you know where I'm at, Internet. We've been together long enough to know this much about each other. You know what I'm talking about.

Well, Dr. Oz just told me that the worst day to start a diet is Monday or Tuesday because you have all week to fall off the wagon before you get into your routine. I'm sorry, Dr. Oz. I completely disagree. All that free time to munch and lounge on the weekend... I do my best work on the week days because I hardly have time to fall off anything.
So, yesterday I finally went and renewed my gym membership. I didn't get a fabulous deal or anything. I could have haggled a little more, but I got the guy down to the point that I had budgeted for - so that's what matters. And including the unlimited daycare, it's still less than I was paying for the past 10 years (which was too much.) I get to bring 2 guests with me every visit, so free-loading workout buddies are welcome! By the time the guy finished my paperwork, I only had 15 minutes left before the childcare closed, so I ran a quick mile! Go me! Then, we went to a clothier (sounds nicer than Ross, doesn't it) and I got a work out outfit that doesn't make me look like a tube sausage. Why is it that athletic attire is always made "form" fitting as though the people working out don't have a reason to need to?

That's hot.

Chana is into fitness, so we are planning to go every other day at the minimum to take in a class or swim some laps or something. I'm going to make her cycle with me, because that's where all the fat burning happens for me. Once I get into the habit, I'm somewhat of a gym rat. And I get really warm fuzzies about life in general from all that seratonin. I'm really looking forward to it. The fun starts tonight. Not the average summer-fun-o-rama.

Oh, and did I mention... bank of america lets you download transactions into excel and do data analysis on how you are spending. I am embarassed to share this... but, we ATE (as in food purchases/restaurants) $1,500 in food last month. I think it's time to work out, don't you?


light and dark

Roger and Aubri were here to drop off Chana for a few days last week and we filled our days with Yogurtland, Six Flags, the beach, and walks in the city. As usual, it was a blast to see them. Chana came with us to Arizona to drop off Stephanie and enjoy a laid back 4th of July. Our traditions are nothing compared to the Moroni 4th.

We've just been grillin' and chillin' and enjoying family. We talked Stephanie into getting her pictures taken with Zola by suggesting a punk rock / Twilight theme.

But we also had a few "cute" ones taken in normal clothes.


week 5 of summer-fun-o-rama

It seems like I have more and more to say and less and less time to say it in. You will have to live with a few pics and short, informational sentences. You will have to live without my magnificent humor until Zola goes to college.

Last weekend Stephanie, Caleb, Zola Jane and I went to San Diego. We loved gawking at those poor caged animals, trashed a hotel and made fun of people gutting fish off the pier at Imperial Beach. We had a pretty good time, ate ridiculous amounts of sugar and watched hotel tv until the wee hours.

Caleb flew home Tuesday, and since then Stephanie and I haven't really done much. It's been a more relaxing installment of Summer-Fun-O-Rama this week since Stephanie has "been there, done that" for most things. On the week days, the most exciting thing we have done has been walk to blockbuster for more "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Friday night we went to the Grove. They had a live band and some of the kid-faces of Disney were there. We met and got Zola's picture with Vincent Martella, the voice of "Phineas" on Phineas and Ferb and plays "Greg" on Everyone Hates Chris.
Stephanie is trying to "friend" him on Facebook. He messaged her a few times to figure out who she is (and remembered getting the photo) but I told her not to be disappointed if he doesn't friend her. She is friends with a band we went to see last year at the El Rey, and I guess they message all the time, so maybe Vincent and her will be laughing about this post together in a few years when they get married. Who knows.

Saturday early, I took Zola to get her pictures done. I've tried to do it every month on or around her birth day. I skipped 6-months because we took family self-portraits in Arizona. But, it seems like so much has changed from the baby who just laid on her back and smiled.

She was COMPLETELY ADORABLE in this photo session. After that, I took her to get her ears mutilated. We can now start the gender training in full. Next week, I am going to bind her feet.

Afterward, Stephanie and I went back to the Grove. They were doing a "Hawaii" event with hula, music, and free food, drink, lei making, etc. We toured Kauai while we waited for our showing of TOY STORY 3 in 3D... very, very worth seeing. We took Zola to her first movie in the theater and she was very well behaved. I was worried because people in LA are serious about their movies. She appeared to love the movie as much as Stephanie and I did. She laughed, she cried... and so did we. (Although we did it at appropriate moments and no one shoved a pacifier in our mouths.)

I think the big plans for today are to go hear some DJs perform at a public park and do some household maintenance. If we don't buy groceries soon, Stephanie will be forced to eat the baby. She's sweet, but I don't think it will work. I'd never be able to figure out if the sides should be savory or not.


dry heat

I had some time off and some plans that fell through, so we went to Arizona on a whim.

While we were there, we took some family pictures of ourselves in front of the same plant that we got married in front of.
And Zola Jane got to go swimming for the first time. She didn't love it at first, but it was so hot that I left her in the water for a while to cool off and she "warmed up" to it. Love my puns.

Oh, and by the way, we decided an hour before we left to come back to kidnap Stephanie. Yay... extra kid!


lucky number seven

Here is my turd. She is seven months old this week! This is the last picture ever taken of her hair before it retired and moved to Florida.

I love this head chopped one for two reasons:
1. you can not see her chopped off hair.
2. it looks like it was taken with a 110 camera in the 70's and could be any of the 5 pictures taken of me when I was little (ninth children never have millions of baby photos of themselves. It's a well-documented fact. Don't worry mom, I'm not hatin'.)

The pic above is what I call her "Lindsey Lohan" smile. She has that grin on her face because she knows that her panties are showing in both of the remaining pictures and she doesn't care because she is hopped up on girlie-girl.

There you have it. Seven months.

Just kidding. I can think of more to say. I'm not just going to punctuate the images. Anyway, you don't get to hear from me that often anymore 'cause I'm off living the sexy, glamorous life of a hollywood starlet (now that they are all pushing forty and pumping out offspring.)

We have a young fella, Caleb, living with us for a few weeks to help out with added childcare need while I'm getting acclimated to my new job. He's absolutely precious. He is in the kitchen as I type, Internet: making me a smoothie. And when I got home, I could make out the distinct aroma of lysol. Utah churns out the most polite young people.

We have been fully launched into our annual Summer-Fun-A-Rama. Shopping at the Beverly Center, China Town, Melrose, Hollywood Farmer's Market, the Fairfax High Swap Meet, Amoeba Records, Hollywood Boulevard, and so on... We've gone to Friday Night Jazz at the LA Contemporary Museum, the Lake Shrine Self-Realization Center Garden, saw a Dodger's game, eaten tons of Indian food, rode bikes down Venice (with baby in a trailer), walked the Santa Monica Pier, and lounged on a Malibu beach. The last is the only one we have a picture of!
Whew. I'm out of breath. That's a lot of fun.