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// she's only happy in the sun.
Nov 12

letters to phoenix // 11.

dearest phoenix hugh,

try as i might, i just can’t keep up with you and the insane speed at which you are growing. what i want to know is where my tiny wide-eyed squishy baby has gone? because all i see is a little boy, constantly in momentum, feeding himself pieces of broccoli and unleashing his toothy grin on friends and strangers alike.

your personality is getting more and more pronounced. you have a cheeky sense of humor and when you’re happy you sit up and rock back and forth waving your arms up and down as if you believe that, with just enough exertion, you might actually take flight. you have favorites now – foods (avocados) and books (hello, animals!) and songs (anything coldplay). you love being on your papa’s shoulders and like your mama, you much prefer the outdoors to staying inside.

you’re learning so much my sweet child, and doing all.the.things. meanwhile, it’s been 2 years and your papa and i still haven’t switched out our tennessee drivers licenses for californian ones. so basically, you need to cool your jets, because your ambition to knock things off your to-do list, is making us look bad.

i find that there are STILL brief snatches of time when i can’t believe i am actually a mama. i’ll be mid-shower and suddenly i’ll remember being 8 months pregnant and writing options for your name in the steam on the glass door. i vividly recall how i longed, and hoped, and prayed for you.

and now, here you are my little darling, showing up to life every day with a joyful exhuberence that is entirely infectious and spell binding.

and though you test our patience, and demand our attention, and force us out of bed at ungodly early hours on lazy saturdays, i know that you are single-dimpled-handedly polishing and refining us. there’s very little room left for our self-centered ways and our arbitrary wants. even though my eyes yearn to stay shut, there is a part of me that knows that one day i’ll ache for the bleary haze of the pre-dawn games we play – you pulling the covers over your head and back down again, your big blueberry eyes widening as you mouth ‘buh’ (your version of ‘boo!’) followed by your giant smile as if you’ve invented the best game ever.

you have started ‘talking’ a lot more and you’ve got ‘baba’s’ and ‘dada’s’ figured out. on nights when your papa puts you to sleep the two of you have come up with a ‘call and response’ routine, where your dad will make a sound and you’ll echo it in your sweet voice…until you fall asleep. and all the while, my heart breaks into a thousand tiny pieces due to an attack of cute.

i love sharing in your firsts. speaking of which…during our recent trip to tennessee we took you to a playground and you had your first swing experience. i’m so glad your papa captured the photo below, because just LOOK AT YOU.

can i also take a minute to talk about how ridiculously adorable you are when you’re naked? i really have no choice in the matter – your velvety chubby haunches just beg to be chomped.

i don’t know if it was the realization that today marks your ninth month on this side of your womb world…but for whatever reason, i felt this need to hold you long after you had fallen asleep tonight. normally, i’m so relieved when you finally give in to sleep that i deftly maneuver you into your crib and make a quick exit. but tonight, i held you close and stroked your silky, albeit unruly, hair and once again marveled at your mile long lashes. i felt the warmth of your little body pressed against mine and i thought about all those months i carried you. impatiently awaiting your arrival. so curious about what you’d look like and eager to learn all about you.

it still baffles me that i get to experience the rest of this journey through life alongside you. there are days when i feel wholly undeserving and woefully unprepared. but there are also moments, like tonight, when i let go and simply bask in this bond that you and i are creating. and in those moments i feel like i’ve actually spent my whole life in preparation for this incredible responsibility.



Nov 12

on having my cake. and eating it too.

we’ve been inordinately, amazingly lucky. i know this. it’s certainly not lost on me. from the moment our lives changed forever with the arrival of little phoenix hugh, we’ve had a caché of family and friends who have swooped in and helped us with this transition. and i’m so grateful for every.single.pair of hands that held our child as i got dressed, or put away the dishes, or responded to another email, or ate a complete meal.

today, dev’s mum, nikki, headed back to tennessee. and as she walked out the door (her eyes brimming with tears at the idea of leaving her grandson) i realized that an era of sorts was ending for us. for the first time, in a very long time, dev and i would be under our roof with our little one – alone. we three would be figuring it out. there would be no 3am hand off to his ever-devoted grandma. there would be no extra pair of hands to help get his breakfast ready while we showered and tomorrow when i leave for work, i don’t have the easy reassurance of knowing our son is with someone who loves him as much as we do. someone who knows his body language intimately. knows his tired complaining sounds from his hungry cries, and that he needs to put his two little fingers in his mouth to fall asleep.

and let me state for the record, there is nothing in the world that can replace that kind of ease-of-heart.

we knew this day was coming. after all, it’s not really feasible that we keep importing family and friends to look after our son while i am at work. but we’d held off making a decision for a long time and a few weeks ago i finally sent out an email to my closest friends in the area asking for references and ideas. two incredibly sweet friends of ours responded that they would be happy to help us out…but at the end of the day, we knew we needed a long term plan, rather than yet another stop-gap measure.

so we’ve made the decision to trial out a family day care. we met the caregiver and she is warm and loving and has had years of experience. phoenix immediately felt right at home in her house, retrieved a ball that he found under the table and batted his eyelashes at his new friends. i know he will be in safe, kind, gentle hands. i know he will be just fine.

but i’m having a hard time believing that will be.

i’m suddenly so conflicted. my heart is heavy and i can’t stop crying.

i know this decision is the best option for us right now. i know that i could stay home with phoenix if i truly wanted to. but the truth is that i don’t want to walk away from my work. it’s not out of necessity i choose to work. it is out of a real passion and love for what i do. but then there is my child. my divine little first born with his giant blueberry eyes and his velvet skin. i don’t want to miss his milestones. i want to be there for his juicy smiles and bask in his pride when he learns new things. i want to inhale the smell of his freshly bathed neck and when he falls asleep in my arms and i lay him on my heart, i want time to stop. i want to live in that moment for as long as i can.

and so you’ll have to forgive me while i cry an ocean of tears as i’m trying to figure out how to entrust him into new hands. how to hand over the most precious thing in my life, and go to work and get anything done.

today, someone (who i *think* was trying to be helpful) bluntly told me that i was trying to ‘have my cake and eat it too’.

and you know what? it’s true.

and you know what else? i don’t want to feel bad or broken up or guilty about it.

i want to be supported in my decision to juggle it all. i want to feel like it IS feasible. i want to live in a reality where i can continue working, and be the very best mother i can be.

and so tomorrow, a new era for us begins. we will drop our child off at someone else’s home in the morning.

and if my heart doesn’t completely break in two, we will try it again the day after, and the next.

Nov 12
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so it was bound to happen – i went from being a regular-ish blogger to a once a month blogger.

why? um. well, because quite frankly: BABIES ARE TIME CONSUMING. who knew?

in fact if someone asked me today what being the mother of an 8.5 month old is like, the most honest response would be this: take your ‘alone time’, saturday night plans, sleep-ins and your growing to-do list. throw it into a blender and mix it on high. disperse the contents around your living room. now walk around blindfolded trying to piece your life back together. while a monkey swings precariously from the light fixtures and pelts you with smushed up cubes of sweet potato.

and as the room spins and nothing that needs to get done ever seems to actually get done, your baby will catch your gaze and give you the most gigantic smile. as if you are literally the most exciting person on the planet. and in those moments it all.becomes.worth.it.

babies are basically brainwashing little squishy bundles of sheer delight. consider yourselves warned.


our pilot is oh so nearly done. somehow we made a tv show. and the good news is, we’re really proud of it.

the air date will be sometime in december. yay!


there are so many things i want to create. here are just a few:

1. for phix’s room one day: painted plastic animals

2. embroidering photographs. inspired by the incredible maria puentes.

3. paint chip wall art

4. gold dipped glassware

5. vases hung in a frame. yes please.


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