Upwards He Grows, Outwards He Goes.

Such busy little feet.
Such busy little hands.

You're discovering
there is a world
away from me.

During those moments
in the day
when I can no longer
hold you in my arms
as often
and as near
I'd like,
I hold you closer
in my heart.

From there
you will never
be able to wander
very far away.


Judge Thee Not, Lest Ye Be Judged.

Caring for your wee one . . . it should be a piece of cake, right? I was totally one of those young childless women who judged moms and their inability to adequately "care" for their children. More specifically, I am referring to their inability to keep their little rugrats clean and tidy and well, snot-free?! "Is baby care really such a chore?", I would scold at the sight of drippy, runny nostrils. Is it really so hard to wipe that crusty nose, trim those scraggly nails and put a Q-tip into those waxy ear holes? Really?

Well, I am here to say YES, yes it is.

NOSE: As my little Noah Finn experiences his first runny nose ever, I am struggling to keep it mucous-free before it dries into an impenetrable crust of snot. He hates his face being wiped, or even touched for that matter, with a cloth, hand, or finger in any way. He twists and squirms, hollers and worms his way out of my desperate cloth-clad hands.

NAILS: Those little daggers at the finger's and toe's tips are a whole other battle to be fought and often lost. They are frequently filled with the afternoon's visit to the sandbox and jagged to the point that they can be wielded as a playground weapon. Cleaning and cutting those little finger and toe nails are challenging to even the most skilled cutter . . . so tiny and so fast those little hands a feet flail!

EARS: The two small cavernous openings on the side of the head that house waxy goo seem to be illusive to even the quickest q-tip. Careful not to insert it too deep or else render your little tot soundless for the rest of his life . . . you struggle to gently sweep it in circular motions, slowly and softly as the ear's owner looks left to right and right to left in quick jerks . . . making the ears an illusive prey too sly to catch for a much needed cleaning.

So, fellow moms with grubby tots, I will judge thee not if thee not judge me. Let us go forth, together, with kids in need of a scrub hoping that today is the day that our tots will find the tub!


It Ain't Easy Being Green.

I muttered these words like a manic mantra under my breath today during the two hours and change that I wasted trying to find a store that sold cloth diapers in the "great" metropolis of Los Angeles. And, guess what? I came up bare bottomed.

It ain't easy being green . . . in L.A., anyway. That's right, a city of almost 10 million people hasn't managed to muster up a few square feet of floor space devoted to moms who are making a concerted effort at ridding the world's landfills of chemical coated and synthetic gel filled poo pants. Yet, there are more farmer's markets and biodiesel peace bugs than I can shake my diaper pail at.

This past weekend, we lazed away our Sunday afternoon in a snugly lush valley just an hour northeast of here . . . among burning sage, drum circles and barefooted dred daddies bouncing vegan tots on their naked knees. So why, in a west coast city of this size and "perceived" embracement of everything natural and eco, is finding cloth diapers sans the internet so hard to do?

We had been ordering all of our cloth diapering supplies from a mom and pop venture out of Portland, Oregon called Babyworks, since Noah was born. The Owner, Pauline, walked me through the daunting dance of being a new parent and cloth diaper doer with gentle skill. Just the mere thought of venturing out into the world to discern one colorful all-in-one from a waterproof pocket diaper was simply too much to bear during those early months. We had many a long telechat. But now those supplies of early are growing much too tight for the buns and tummy of our sprouting little greenie and we yearn for fresh dooty duty gear.

I, too, am finally ready to physically branch out into the wide expansive universe of reusables and want to peruse the many varieties there are for the pickins'--with my hands, my fingers, my eyes--with all of my five senses, I want to shop. One of the many reasons we chose cloth diapering was to circumvent the wasted energy and resources used for the production, packaging, shipping, etc. of disposables. We longed to buy local. After all, we figured, how hard would it be to find cloth diaper supplies in a city where plenty is it's middle name? But, discovering only one diaper cleaning service in the suburb of Pasadena that was so sub par we decided to scrub our own hemp prefolds should have been more than a subtle clue.

As my search dismally dead ended today at a few wrong numbers of bygone baby stores, I once again had to turn to my trusty mouse and keyboard to quell my cloth diaper yearning. So, Heather and Shannon at the Cloth Diaper Outlet in Springfield Oregon, thank you for making cloth diapering supplies readily available to us lowly residents here in the city of Angels. Apparently, this city's little angels poop in plastic.


September In San Diego.

It's been quite some time since I've visited my sweet friend, Annaliisa, and her little, Owen, down south in San Diego.

Annaliisa and I met six years ago in Grad School. While both living in Los Angeles at the time, we traveled down to San Diego only days after meeting to attend the Modern Language Association (MLA) annual convention. Yes, it was an awfully dorky first date, but so were *ah hem*, are, we.

We clicked immediately, trained for and ran the San Diego marathon the next year, and have been somewhat of a dynamic duo ever since.

It seems somewhat fated then that she was to end up in San Diego and so, she did. And, it came as somewhat of a huge surprise when we discovered within a week of one another that we were pregnant. Those things never happen even when planned.

Now it would be a better time than ever to have her living closer to us. The boys were born about three weeks apart--Noah Finn was a week late and Owen was one week early. And, it has been incredibly difficult with all of the jolting and exhausting life changes to manage visits as often as we'd like. But, with the wonder of technology and occasional travels south for us and north for them, the boys manage to meet just often enough to not forget that they are each others first friend.

In the meantime, Annaliisa and I can only hope and count our Hemingways that Owen and Noah Finn will also one day together grace the lecture halls at the annual meeting of the MLA.

Check out our flickr album for more of our September in San Diego.


"Little Foodie Feasts" Workshop This Saturday!

Attention L.A. working mamas and papas . . . there is a weekend "Little Foodie Feasts" homemade baby food workshop this Saturday the 12th at 10:30 a.m. . . . and there are two spots left!

For more details about the workshop, please click here or e-mail me at jonisurettenelson@gmail.com.

Happy Feeding,


The Love Of Two = 3

We went on our second "date" in almost nine months and it was like he didn't even notice we had left.

The first time we snuck out of the front door without stroller, sling and a bulky bag containing exactly one of everything Noah Finn owns was on Father's Day--for barely an hour. We cycled to the nearby pizza joint for a few custom slices and ate like a pack of wild, mad dogs were threatening to steal our grub. Several calls later, we returned home with a bad case indigestion and a longing need to hold our little machine-o-drool.

This time was different. Honestly, we never would have done it in the first place. We're not great about asking for help--or even taking it if it's offered. But friends and neighbors of ours offered--well told us--two weeks ago that we were going out without Noah. Sure, we said, sure . . . and thanked them with a smile.

But, five offers later--them pressing us to name a day and time--we finally gave in. They were asking us, we weren't asking them. How often does that happen if you don't have family living closer than a thousand miles away? Not often, we figured.

The day was sunny and cool. The coolest day in a sweaty string of smoggy, smokey, sweltering ones. Noah was down for his second nap and we were freshly groomed. So, we went.

We cycled to a local brunch spot and leisurely dined on veggie omlettes, ahi wraps and freshly squeezed carrot juice. We chatted, we kissed, we smiled, we gazed, we sipped, we shared, we laughed. We remembered. Dean and Joni. We remembered.

Afterward, we ventured to the best self-serve frozen yogurt bar this side of Hollywood Boulevard. And as we stood with cups full in hand, we pondered a spot in which to enjoy our creamy treats.

Discussed with barely more than a look, we leisurely cycled home with melting yogurt in basket to our little Noah. And despite the fact that he seemed completely unphased by the nearly two-hour absence of the two beings that have seen to his every last whim and whimper for for the last almost nine months of his very short little life, we were tickled to tears to share our love and our yogurt with him.



Thank Goodness Daddy's Home!


Wordless Wednesday.

Feeding my little foodie.


Down In The Dumps.

I've been lagging on my computer duties for at least a week, I'll admit it. I haven't been posting stimulating or interesting mama blog fodder, responding to e-mails, commenting on my favorite blogs, OR posting Noah pictures to flickr and Noah videos to You Tube--point in short . . . I am so sorry Noah's grandmas and great grandmas.

The thing is, it has been hot--I mean real hot. And, L.A. is burning like hell burns. Or at least as I imagine hell would burn if there was a hell? Plumes of brown mask the setting sun turning it into a blazing bright red disc heavy on the hazy horizon. Today ash covered the car and I asked myself again why people pay one million dollars to own a crappy fixer upper in this car-centric shaky piece of pavement by the cold, cold oily sea.

And, well, let's get down the real reason I've been absent--after a delightful afternoon with friends on Sunday, Dean dodged L.A. for a business trip early, early Monday. Ever since, it's just been me and Noah Finn. We're holding down camp just fine, but I certainly can't wait until daddy's plane hits the pavement tomorrow at 4:05 p.m.

And while I am being all down and out about life in Los Angeles this week, let me include a little shout out for the crazy homeless Hispanic lady wearing a pink wig that was screaming in broken Spanish at the top of her lungs at the construction workers jack hammering behind our apartment yesterday--just next door to Noah's window while he was napping--for the first and only time that day. And, let me not forget, since it's already flowing like lava from Mt. Vesuvius, the dumpster diver digging for bottles in the bins next door day before yesterday while Noah was napping--for the first and only time that day.

Oie. Oie. Oie! Los Angeles. You are not a good friend.

So, for now, all of the fabulously fun stuff that I have planned for this blog is going to have to wait one more night . . . or two.


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