Who Knew? Part Two.

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Who Knew?

Funny faces, peek-a-boo, brown rice noodles in the ear, salmon and zucchini motor boats . . . who knew eating could be so much fun? Apparently, Noah Finn did.

All In A Good A Day's Play: Park Edition

Springtime, linen overalls, good friends, lots of sunshine--does it really get any better than this?
I think not.


Just Call Me Mama Malibu.

Dean's job is relocating to one of the most delicious places this side of the Grand Canyon--Malibu. Pont Dume, to be precise, and we have boldly decided to ditch city life for the slower, softer and gentler existence to be found nestled in the wild and rural terrain of the canyons just a stone's throw from the beach.

There are no apartments to speak of in Malibu, just a smattering of multi-million dollar homes precariously perched upon ocean-side cliffs, hidden on hillscapes behind scrubby brush and retaining walls, or on sprawling ranches found down long windy dusty dirt roads. That's it--not much to speak of as far as shopping, or touristing, or hollywooding--it's surprisingly rural to those who visit for the first time. So, what's a multi-million dollarless family to do if they have chosen this destination as home? Search for the rare humble guest house even though they are breathtakingly overpriced and severely under square-footaged.

Nevertheless, we're ready, oh, so, ready to dodge the grimy, noisy, crowded, stink of the city. Malibu is not far from where we are now living, but it sure feels a world away. We are ready for green and grass and nature and quiet and flowers and creeks and ocean and breeze and wildlife and rocks and dirt and leaves on trees. We are ready for a few adopted hens and farm fresh eggs. We are ready for a goat and farm fresh milk and cheese. We are ready, after a 10 year wait, to adopt a dog who will trail our heels through the lush expanse of the 20 acre horse ranch we found this past weekend.

The house is small but rustic. All it needs is a little loving hand. The land it's on is oh so huge and pristine and ours for the exploring, gardening, flowering, romping and picnicking. I can't wait for Noah to rub each horses nose in the morning before breakfast. I can't wait to lunch on the beach everyday. I can't wait to water my edible garden at sunset and wake to the song of birds and dance of squirrels. We will inhabit this cozy little cottage for only a year, two at most (or who knows, maybe we'll fall in love and stay forever)--until we move on up to the pacific northwest in search of a permanent homestead, a home we'll own.

In the meantime, we are giddy with excitement for our last adventure as wanderers, as house freelances and the freedom it provides--the freedom to wax and wane from place to place until we've scratched all the itches to live wherever we want to live until it's time to wander no more. This really will be nothing less than a really long vacation--Noah and I frolicking around the ranch and beach with Dean scampering to his dream job by weekday and hiking and BBQ'ing and sunbathing at week's end.

It's not all roses and pickles though, isolation does enter my mind. I have already begun to seek out Malibu mommy groups, music classes and playgroups for Noey Finn and I--which are few and far in between as far as I can tell. We are so active with other mamas and babies here in the city that I am not sure if this will provide a welcomed rest or forced seclusion. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, it's Malibu or bust, baby.


Beautiful Things.

House hunting and birthday parties and wagon rides, oh my. Noey's new shoes and chubby sandy toes and dancing dandelions, oh my. Crocheting with cotton and vibrant tulips and splashing feet in fountains, oh my.

Beautiful, beautiful things, oh my.

This was our past week in pictures. Happy Spring.

Spring Break 2010: The Adventures of Auntie Meg.

I wish it was my college senior year spring break--oh, how I wish it was. But, golly, that was almost 10 years ago now--oie.

My sister's spring break here in Los Angeles has come to an end--with her red eye flight back to North Carolina tonight, she will hopefully take with her beautiful memories. Despite having to share her with her roommate and boyfriend, who just recently moved here a few months ago, (and both who were very nice) it was a very lovely visit. Clothes piles and all . . . we're gonna miss Auntie Meg.

For new great pics, visit us on flickr!


Wordless Wednesday: Well, Almost Wordless.

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." --Oscar Wilde

A "Wildeism" in honor of a Wordless Wednesday St. Patty's Day--as such, no truer words have ever been spoken about Dean and I. Wilde would have deemed our imaginations limitless.


Beautiful Things: The Auntie Meg Edition.

I have been unable to sit and crank out any coherent posts this past week. My little sister Megan and her roommate are here visiting for their senior year spring break. They arrived on a red eye Thursday and it has been silly, college, family, eating, love ever since. I am sure that as this week progresses, I'll have time to update the blog with all of the fun that is being had.

In the meantime, enjoy this image from Noah and Meggie's lounge session yesterday afternoon after Noah Finn woke from an unusually long nap. So, so cute.


All In A Good Day's Play: The Flora, Fauna and Us, At The Huntington Edition.

Those not lucky enough to live in visiting proximity of The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens simply do not know what they are missing. And even that is an understatement of great proportions as The Huntington is a kind of heavenly utopia nestled in the quaintly sublime suburb of Pasadena, San Marino.

I had visited once before--to see a stunning and rare visiting installation of English poet, painter and print maker, William Blake, back when I was a fledgling grad student. The experience then was pleasant. I was moved most by the incredibly detailed and individualized copper plates that Blake used to relief etch his poetry onto rather than by the sheer enormity and astute aesthetic plenitude of the gardens themselves.

I visited again yesterday--the first Tuesday of the month is free--with Noah Finn, Asami and Kai. Instead of a notebook, I was loaded down with a stroller, snacks, diapers, sippy cup and a few days supply of "what ifs" stuff. We didn't make it far in the first hour or so--strolling only a few feet each time before someone had to go to the bathroom, take a snack or stroller break, or "investigate" a puddle and it's contents that we had just passed. Well into the second hour, once we finally began making headway, we wandered through and by gardens of splendor and plenty--gardens that had used up every last drop of recent rain to color themselves bolder than ever. We found ourselves veiled by a colorful symphony of wildlife--bumblebees, butterflies, geese and chirping birds--clover flowers, green green grass, dew-covered petals and scampering squirrels.

The children's garden by far was the highlight of the day. Water pools, rock gardens, animal-shaped bushes, rainbow tunnels, misting tee-pees, mini vine-covered arbors, tiny foliage cottages--it was a place for hobbits and fairies.

It's funny how you experience things so differently when you are towing tots. Things you never paused to even note before become central attractions and things that once took priority before are quickly forgotten. At the end of it all, as Noah and Kai snoozed in their strollers while we walked from the exit to our car, I took note of how much I enjoyed visiting The Huntington this time. It was so different from the first. And despite the lack of art present by what some might hail as the "greatest artist Britain has ever produced", I had all I needed right there with me--my dear sweet friends and my beautiful boy, Noah Finn.

For more pictures of our day at The Huntington, visit us on flickr.


History In The Making: The Crappy Cellphone Picture Edition.

We've been busy lately, but in the best way. Daddy has been filling his mornings before work with satisfying solo projects and Noah Finn and I have filled our days cavorting around town with our best mommy and baby pals.

This past Sunday, after a family morning in the park outing with one of my mommy groups, we went to brunch with Asami, Kai and Atushi. Despite the posh Larchmont Village neighborhood and the attention to aesthetic detail of the space we found ourselves dining in, the food was barely mediocre and my slice of "freshly baked" tart cherry pie . . . well, I won't bore you with my cantankerous criticism. But, still, the afternoon was serene . . . frolicking in and out of shoe shops, our favorite organic kid's store owned by Punky Brewster, and past a sidewalk dog adoption event. After pouting for some time, Dean finally caved and approved the addition of a dog to our ever growing family. So, I am excited to report that we'll be combing local shelters in the coming weeks and months in search of the perfect mutt for us to rescue from certain death and love forever and ever.

Okay, but, back to Sunday . . . after our Larchmont afternoon, we ventured to Trader Joe's to battle the parking lot crowds for a highly prized patch of Trader Joe's asphalt in an effort to wrangle up an easy dinner. As Dean walked around the car to retrieve our little toddler who had been unusually quiet during the short car trip, I sat sulking in the passenger seat (Dean had not yet relented and caved in on the dog issue at this point).

And. Then. Dean shrilly shrieked. And, then he loudly panted . . . "oh. my. god." several times.

It appeared as if Noah Finn had decided that costumes were required attire for Trader Joe Sunday's and he was intent on coming prepared--he was painted head to toe in a lovely shade of "fig". It was everywhere and by everywhere, I mean everywhere.

You see, Noah and I had driven the hour drive up to Canyon Country just the day before to attend a going away party for very dear friends of ours. In a desperate effort to silence the backseat crooner during the drive, I handed him my small make up bag that I carry in the diaper bag. I don't wear much make up--just chapstick and a little under-eye concealer to hide my black bags of sleep deprivation--so it mostly contains holistic first aid supplies for Noah and a few OB tampons that Noah loves to chew on--wrapped, of course. Noah loves this little pouch of tiny treasures and I always revert to it when in any sticky screaming situation. But, apparently there was one rogue tube of lipstick remaining from past days of yore when my lips were more decorated that Noah not only found but stashed in his carseat for "later", as it appears.

The funny thing is that Dean and I laughed--we laughed until we were crying and until, well, we made Noah cry. He is crying in the pictures above because he was left in the carseat so long as we laughed chuckled and wiped away our tears of sheer hilarity. The best part of it all was that it broke the tension--the terse dog conversation dissipated into a fit of family laughter and I think that it can be attributed with lightening things to the point of Dean finally giving in upon his return to the car from the store.

You see, the weekend was a great two days of parenting woes and follies that ultimately resulted in the addition of a new family member--soon. The only damper was that our camera was no where in sight. Unfortunately, I had to snap pictures of Noah's face painting antics, as well as, his first trip to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum with my camera phone--phooey on poor photography to mark major moments. At least it was all documented. It's Noah Finn history in the making.


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