It's no secret to close family and friends that Dean began working for Beck shortly after the birth of Noah Finn. It was a rather surprised and unplanned job move that couldn't have been timed much better if we had planned it. The hours are so much better then what he kept on the Hollywood studio clocks and Beck's home studio, where he works much of the time, is just a few cycling blocks away from our home for Dean--and let's face it, it's a pretty dreamy gig for an Audio Engineer.

The latest project to be released is Charlotte Gainsbourg's new album that Beck produced called IRM--just released this month. Those of you who aren't familiar with her French pop legend father, Serge Gainsbourg, have been living under a musical rock and should get acquainted with him a.s.a.p.--your ears cannot claim they existed in the 20th century and not have heard this mighty Euro crooner. While Charlotte has a sometimes similar whispery sultriness to that of her dad's hypnotic style, she stands quite firm in her own right, too, as a chanteuse and actress.

Our hands down all time favorite radio station, that happens to be here in Los Angles, KCRW 89.9, aired a live in-studio session and interview with her and Beck taped back in December where Dean joined as Engineer. As it aired this morning, Dean and I went about our usual morning tasks while listening--Dean packing his lunch and I, just having put Noah down for a nap, was showering. When all of a sudden Dean storms into the bathroom with that crooked and satisfied half smile across his face that I recognize to announce, "Hey, Doodle--you missed it. They just said my name on the radio!"

Yes, it's true that Dean gets his name in the liner notes of all projects that he works on (including this one), but there's nothing like hearing your name in the "thank you" list on-air. And, shucks, I missed it.

To see a few cameos of Dean during the live taping session (he's in the navy & cream striped sweater in the background), click here--even if you don't want to see Dean it's well worth a view--Charlotte and Beck make an enchanting duo. To hear Dean's name said aloud over the Los Angeles air waves, you'll have to "listen" as opposed to "watch" the session here--but let's face it, unless you're tuned in to the radio, listening just isn't as much fun.

Félicitations, Dean, félicitations!


Together They Grow.

When I began "Feeding Little Foodies" last August at the suggestion of my friend Carrie, I expected that it might be a worthwhile hobby and healthy focus for my surplus of nervous energy. I was right--it has been an incredible way to share my experiences with feeding Noah Finn, as well as, my passion for teaching, fresh organic produce, and cooking all while aiming to inspire and inform other mamas to feed fresh and nutritiously too. I have met so many energetic mamas and beautiful babies along the way and my inbox continues to expand with pictures and videos sent to me by former "students" feeding their little foodies their first bites of solids. Satisfying and rewarding would be the two adjectives I'd use to describe the experience so far.

Ever since last August the business has grown, almost exponentially. Classes are filled to the brim, I have added a new workshop for older foodies, I have purchased my very own web domain just to house the blog in its own proper home (www.feedinglittlefoodies.com), I was asked to give two interviews for parenting and health related websites that will feature "Feeding Little Foodies" in the coming weeks, and I am getting ready to announce a super exciting bit of news next week. This "business baby" of mine has grown and is continuing to grow--and that's what you want when you begin a new venture, right? You nurture and hope for timely maturation and healthy development.

But just as I both resist and embrace the rapid growth and changes that are taking place with my little Noah Finn, I can't help but morn the loss of infancy with my little business venture too. What began as a small, vulnerable, and quiet project has expanded into a rambunctious and quickly moving toddler that I sometimes struggle to keep up with. I can't help but note the parallels between these two focuses of my time--baby and business--and feel both excitement and apprehension that I will miss the early days of both.

As I move into the wide expanses of what lies ahead--the toddler hood of Noah Finn and of "Feeding Little Foodies"--I feel great anticipation at what's unknown and what I have yet to learn and excitement at the limitless possibilities of what they both have the potential to become.



. . . a boo. I see you. I am finally coming out from beneath that virtual rock I have been hiding under.

What's been happening while I've been hibernating? Leaps and bounds I tell you, leaps and bounds. Noah has been growing in leaps and bounds. He's walking consistently as of this past week, he's talking--"banana" is by far the most impressive member of his very new dictionary--and he's destroying. As I have been absent from my orphaned mama blog, Noah has been sprouting at an ever alarming pace. Therefore, I shall be absent no more--MAMA IS BACK--you have my word, as there is just too much occurring each and every day not to document and share it all with my fellow friends, family and readers.

So here we are to report on the latest happenings in the Surette-Nelson abode . . .

Getting reacquainted with home, our cats, our life-pace here in SoCal has been a long standing project. This past week was Dean's first back to work full time since we've been back, Noah and I had a debilitating stomach bug through it all, and the past six days have been a record setting event of rain, hail, wind and storms for Los Angeles. Between bouts of nausea, Noah and I schlepped ourselves out of our frequent fits of cabin fever to enjoy several indoor playgrounds round about the city--"Amy's Playground" in South Pasadena, "Naya's Garden" in Silverlake and "Kidspace Children's Museum" in Pasadena. We have playdated, walked in the rain and had cozy dinner parties with our bestest of mommy & babe duos, Asami & Kai. And on Friday, we went with some of our favorite baby and mommy pairs, dragging Daddy along behind us, for a zenning dose of "Mommy, Me & Daddy Too Yoga" at "Golden Bridge" in Hollywood. All I can say is--blissful, simply blissful. The first 45 minutes are spent with the adults stretching and straining while the little ones romp and wobble about and the second half is a singing and dance freeplay for all. The event was capped off with some tantalizing mung bean and rice stew, garbanzo bean dhaal and a walloping vegan red velvet cupcake. We have decided to make it a weekly family outing and look forward to next week!

Now, on into our weekend we venture. With a new stroller (we bought the Quinny Buzz this week!) and finally a blue sky and some sunshine, we are ready to take on the weekend with great gusto. By nightfall, I shall slave away at my incredibly tardy Christmas and First Birthday thank you's for Noah Finn that have yet to write themselves and hop in with the outgoing mail--and finish the book on that I've been delving into before zonking out on the couch--"Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives In North Korea" by Barbara Demick. While not especially well written, it is interestingly informative and a startlingly stark reminder of how lucky I am to have not been born in North Korea.

In the meantime, happy Saturday to all and welcome back, to me!

P.S. New pictures from our December on the left coast are up on flickr and new videos will be up on YouTube by Monday.


As Absent As An Ant At A Plastic Picnic.

Okay weird title, right? Well, that's just how I have been feeling as of late. Absent and weird. Not weird in a bad way necessarily, just weird as in a weird way. But as for absent . . . today marks the one week anniversary of our arrival home from our month long voyage to the land of cold, cotton and fried chicken. North Carolina was packed full of family--lots and lots of family--and eating and sitting and visiting and eating and sitting and visiting and eating and sitting and, well, you get the picture. Don't get me wrong, we loved, really truly loved, spending that much time with doting family members and we even managed to frolic outside maybe three or four times in all. But, come on folks, we venture out into the great expanse of SoCal's sunny 70's at least three to four times a day. You can call it cabin fever or southern cuisine overdose, but whatever it was it had me feeling down right lethargic and all nappy by noon.

The holidays were glorious and Noah's first birthday was a blast. Flying was challenging seeing that he is now intent on crawling and walking into every nook and cranny that appears the filthiest and most difficult to shimmy into. He is now talking more than ever. Not recognizable words (unless you count "mama", "dada" and his all time favorite for the last three months--"ball") but not baby talk either. He's got something to say and it sounds a flair Icelandic when it all comes out garbled and inflected--think Sigur Ros on helium. He's thinking and doing and playing with real purpose now--real intent and concentration and method. It is amazing to watch him amass more and more skills with each passing day. It seems that he can observe something only once before he has it nearly mastered.

So, we are home sweet home now--still unpacking suitcases and pounds around the middle that unfortunately managed to sneak their way through the airport security check. As we get back into the rhythm of our daily lives here in Los Angeles--breakfast and walks with daddy in the a.m. and lunch, playdates and dinner with mama in the p.m.--I realize something that I am truly excited to come home to--other than our abandoned cats and piles of bills--the mama and baby friends that we have made over the last year. These connections and bonds made with women struggling through the hardest year of their life together with me as I struggle alongside of them have been life changing and simply heart warming. I cannot wait to see how much each baby and mama have grown and changed as they all enter into this second year together with me and Noah Finn.

It's so nice to have family and friends to come home to--even if they reside at homes upon opposite shores.

P.S. Pictures from the trip are coming soon.


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