THE COZYHUNTER
// she's only happy in the sun.
10
Jul 12
1 comment

my work world.

1. we are launching our soulpancake youtube channel on july 23rd. subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss all the thought-bending, mind-blowing, heart-expanding content. fun times!

2. we’ve been hard at work on our SP show proposal for the oprah winfrey network. we recently submitted three creative briefs and then oprah sent this tweet. and we all got excited. understandably.

3. we are thrilled to be working with some really amazing producers and filmmakers. and have also hired several very talented folks to join our little SP ship. and we also have an eager bunch of interns taking the helm of various projects and doing great work! walking into our office and having it buzz with creativity and momentum is one of the best feelings.

4. our days are long and my inbox is constantly demanding my attention. dev and i rarely get to bed before 1am. which isn’t really sensible considering little phix is up at 6am. there are nights when dev can’t make it home in time to hug his little one goodnight. but it’s still somehow all feels worth it. and i think it’s because soulpancake is so much more to us than just ‘a job’. it’s our first child in many ways. it’s something we helped create. something that we really believe in. it allows us to bust out our creativity and exercise our imaginations and to constantly push ourselves to strive for excellence. none.of.this came easy…but we’ve also had SO much support from others who let the overarching mission be their reward rather than seeking fame or fortune. i’m often asked what i do and i don’t really know how to answer because i wear so many hats and juggle such a diverse range of responsibilities. we all do. but the point is, i get to do what i love. and for that, i’m so grateful.

09
Jul 12
3 comments

in summary.

once again, i’m relying on photos and captions to preserve the memories and moments that made up our days of late.

1. family breakfasts with life long friends are the best. emily & elizabeth have known each other and dev since they were all kids growing up in hendersonville (tennessee) together. their parents are all BFFs, and they are basically his sisters. i met them both at thanksgiving in 2008 (when i was trying to infiltrate dev’s family) and have loved them fiercely ever since. i also have not-so-secret plans of luring them to live in LA. they speak to phix in french and russian accents – so understandably he adores them.

2. i think our little boy has learned the power of his smiles and he is SHAMELESSLY busting them out to win over his audience. and it works every.time.

3. i have always dreamed of having an outdoor area to gather together friends to share food and laughter together a la a kinfolk magazine spread. so dev strung up bare edison bulbs in our back patio, we got a bbq, and now my dream is a lovely reality most friday nights.

4. phix attended his first wedding as our dear friend andy grammer married his sweet aijia lise.

5. we took nonsensical photos.

6. phix finally pooped. this might be TMI. in which case, i’m sorry, but my filters are all askew since i birthed a baby. just be glad i’m not including a photo. the reason this gets to be on this list of memorable moments is because it had been 10 days since he’d last pooped. TEN DAYS. that is basically all.the.days. there were no more days left. i don’t know whether it was his aunties speaking to him in dirty french accents, or elizabeth cleaning all.the.things, or all of us singing rhianna in harmony, or a combo of all of the above, but we were all so excited when we realized what had happened that we simultaneously screamed like maniacs, causing poor phix to burst into tears. and now he’ll probably never poop again because our reaction was so intense and terrifying.

7. we went on a family outing to the beach. and we were total caregiver failures with our measly bath towels that didn’t actually fit even one adult body, our lack of sunscreen and snacks, and our disgruntled (teething!) baby. basically, we had none of the things we actually needed, but we DID HAVE headbands for everyone. then sand got into the MECHANISMS of the stroller and a wheel fell off. i don’t know how things got from bad to worse, but elizabeth ended up with baby puke in her hair, emily spilled iced chai all over the coffee shop floor and next thing i knew, we’re eating overpriced wings from hooters in a carpark because we gave up on finding the car.

and although we were a complete train wreck posse, the day was still one of the best.ever because we laughed so much that my sides still hurt today.

05
Jul 12
6 comments
27
Jun 12
4 comments

letters to phoenix // 6.

dear phoenix,

today you are a grand four months old. and your smiles bounce off the walls of my heart.

love,

mama

oh wait. you’re sleeping! i might actually be able to write a real post during this precarious window of 30-45 minutes before you wake up. but all the things that vie for my attention while you nap are vying. the plants need watering. the dishes need doing. the calls need making. the dinner needs defrosting. and as for the fun stuff…don’t get me started. where am i supposed to find the time for the FUN STUFF?! i mean, those documentaries in my netflix queue aren’t going to watch themselves. but here we are. you sleeping and me typing because of this gnawing fear i have in my core that if i don’t record your milestones and moments, i’ll wake up one day and you’ll be a teenager and all of this will feel like remnants of a dream.

so here we go. where to begin?

at four months old you are still a curious, attentive, observant little being. you watch the people around you with interest and fascination and take note of e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. i don’t know if it’s because i wore the same uniform of maternity leggings and tank tops for the past four months, but now that i’m actually wearing a variety of clothing, you feel the need to inspect it all. the patterns of my dresses. my necklace choice. the belt. nothing goes unnoticed by those giant blue eyes of yours.

your dad and i are still regaining our footing. finding our equilibrium as a family of 3. figuring out schedules and strategies and the exact scientific formula that curbs your carseat fits o’ rage. right now, the cocktail of rhianna’s cd, cold air blasting and a friend in the backseat seem to help distract you enough from the torture that is being in a car. but you see little phix, when you do comply, we get to go on mini excursions to seek out colorful walls, and in case you haven’t noticed, your mama LOVES HERSELF SOME COLORFUL WALLS.

last week, my friend ladan visited. she calls you ‘googooly’ and is a big fan of your chunky thighs. it was so lovely having her here – she’s known me for nearly a decade and seen me through some of my highest highs and lowest lows.

she also took this photo which might be one my favorite of the two of us, ever.

in other news, you have discovered your feet. yes, even more appendages to chew on. and i don’t blame you. your toes were made for nibbling on and since you’ve been born i’ve been gobbling you up, so the fact that you are now following suit just means that you are a fast learner. and maybe i can get a bumper sticker for our car that says ‘future honors student’ or something equally braggy and annoying.

i’ll be honest and admit that the past few weeks have been hard. i’m still feeling this incredible pressure (from myself and no one else) to do.it.all. to be there for you and for my partners at work. there are so many moments when i’m distractedly holding you while my head is focussed on my never-ending task list, my fingers typing an email on my phone, and my shoulders heavy because there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.

today as i was leaving for he office, you stared up at me and i saw a look of concern flash across your face. you didn’t cry but you definitely registered that i was about to leave. it’s the first time i’ve ever seen that look and it slayed me. for a split second i thought about dropping everything. my laptop, bag, keys. kicking off my shoes and just holding you. but you were in the safest of hands and i needed to go. and when i returned home a few hours later you gave me one of your 1000 watt smiles and i felt like in your own way you were telling me that it was ok. that you understood that sometimes i have to leave, because in your heart you know i’ll always come back to you.

love,

mama

20
Jun 12
4 comments

my parents = the original hipsters

i just found these two photos of me with my parents. my dad’s woolen knits are incredible right?

and just to assert that phix DOES look a tiny bit like me (if you ignore his bright blue eyes and brown hair) i present exhibit A:

19
Jun 12
5 comments

show and tell.

i find myself having less and less time to sit and just write. for this blog. or for myself. emails sit in my inbox unresponded to, which drives the OCD vein in me crazy. also, ‘unresponded’ isn’t a word but i can’t think of the word to use that is the right word for this? is there even a word?

so in lieu of lots of words, here are a few snapshots that sum up some of the highlights from the past few days. it’s all good stuff – since i haven’t taken a photo of our broken garden sprinkler, the huge load of laundry that i’m ignoring, and phoenix in his car seat. let me pause for a minute and talk about this last situation because it’s a situation that is giving me some anxiety and i’ve scoured the depths of the internet for answers to no avail (i have, however, learned how to take stains out of microfiber – so the internet redeemed itself once again). the problem is phoenix HATES being in the car. hates in all caps doesn’t give the word the weight it deserves. underline it and circle it in neon highlighter. and then etch it into your arm with a dull blade. yeah, that is how serious his loathing is. as soon as we put him in his car seat he becomes the valedictorian of screaming. if you happened to roll up next to our car at a stop light you might actually think he’s being tortured. he scrunches his eyes tightly, balls his hands into little fists of rage and just yells with full face screamy screams. the only trick we’ve found is dev sitting in the backseat playing songs on his ukulele. this distracts him for trips less than 5 minutes (it also distracts the people in cars passing us). but if the trip is too long, or he is too hot, or the air just happens to be touching him from the wrong direction, then little phix lets out the most heart-wrenching, ear hurting screams that i’ve ever heard. needless to say, if we need to drive anywhere with him there had better be a really.good.reason.

//

lovely ash is helping us take care of phix while i’m at the office and you know what’s more fun than taking photos of my boy? taking photos of my boy with his fashionista nanny. she has totally inspired me to ditch my maternity leggings.

dev had his first father’s day!

so we recreated a photo of devon’s dad and him when he was a baby. it’s crazy that 30 years have passed between these two photos.

our drooly little boy found his toes. these have usurped his hands in terms of the focus of his intense fascination.

phoenix is now big enough for his high chair and he seems to like sitting at the ‘big kids’ table.

yesterday we woke up to the exciting news that Super Soul Sunday won an emmy! this is really exciting for SoulPancake and we are pumped about our future with the network. :)

18
Jun 12
2 comments

the flip side of security camera footage.

my lovely friend kat recently sent me this link to a fantastic ad by coke – a collection of sweet moments caught on security cameras. and before you launch into a mental diatribe about the perils of corporate america (i get it – i wish it wasn’t a coke ad either), i still think the idea itself is fantastic. taking something that people usually associate with negativity and showing the positive side.

16
Jun 12
6 comments

because i know mamani must be missing this.

most of our mornings start off a bit like this. a wriggly phix wearing his high-waisted pj’s being entertained by his dad singing him cute songs written just for him.

also, do you know what is better than one dimpled delicious hand? TWO.

14
Jun 12
add comment

3 happiness-inducing discoveries.

1. a whole site dedicated to tiny houses.

2. this man’s entire purpose is to bring happiness to others. (found via ashtastic)

3. beautiful light installations by bruce munro. these will be inspiration for our next SoulPancake street stunt for sure.

in other news, phix has scored the next best thing to a mamani – our sweet friend ashley has moved back to LA for the summer and is going to be helping us with soulpancake work and looking after phix each day.

she’s an absolute natural with him, and he’s so happy with her.

 

13
Jun 12
2 comments

mamani.

if you’ve been keeping up with the adventures of our little household, you know that my mum has been staying with us since about three weeks before phix was born. so, for as long as we’ve had a baby, we’ve had a ‘mamani’ in our house.

two hours ago she left to go back home to australia. and i have been a weepy mess ever since. if she was here, she would tell me to stop crying because she’d worry that it would affect my milk supply and that phix would sense my sadness and he’d have a difficult night’s sleep. because this is who my mama is. she is always thinking of others.

while she’s been here i’ve had the chance to observe her closely. after all, i’m learning to be a mama, so it’s like i’ve gotten to ‘job shadow’ someone who is pretty well-versed in this role. and to this day, i am still in awe of the way she interacts with the world, the relationships she fosters with friends with strangers alike, and her uncanny ability to see the beauty in every.little.thing. (i always tease her about how she  smuggles rocks, shells, and plants from country to country. only my mama would see an entire universe in a pebble.)

my mum constantly strives to make other people’s lives a bit brighter. within days of her moving in she had planted flowers in our backyard, along with a little herb garden and tomato plants. she took pancakes over to our lonely neighbor, fixed all of dev’s favorite shirts that had worn thin and made a hammock for phoenix in our backyard. each morning, she would come into our bedroom and whisk phix away on a long walk so he could see “the doggies” just so dev and i could catch up on sleep for another two hours each morning. she made us every meal and quietly took note of all our likes and dislikes (extra brussels sprouts for me, none for dev), did all the dishes in our dishwasher-less house, took care of all the laundry and not one time did she make us feel like ANY of this was a burden. in fact, just the opposite, she makes it so clear that her happiness comes from taking care of those around her. chances are, that if you stepped inside our home in the past three months my mother will have called you darling, and tried to feed you.

here’s just the tiniest example of how my mum operates. every tuesday evening an elderly man walks up and down our street and goes through all the recycling bins looking for bottles. he wears gloves, but obviously it’s a dirty task. i imagine he is collecting these to take them to a recycling station and get the 5c returns on each one. after watching him do this one week, mamani decided she would separate out our bottles from the rest of our recycling so he didn’t have to forage through our bin (she sees such dignity and nobility in every.single.person). not only did she put all the bottles in a separate clean bag, but she waited for the man the following week, went outside to greet him and handed him the bag of bottles she’d collected. as you can imagine, his entire face lit up and he was so thankful. and so, this became their weekly routine…and of course, something that we need to continue.

mamani wove herself effortlessly into the fabric of our everyday-lives. as dev said tonight, “phoenix has never known this world without his mamani” and i’m so, so grateful that we all had this time together.

there are moments when i’m really scared about being a good mama, but i know i have been given the best example first hand.

i love you mum.

11
Jun 12
1 comment

bleary.

bleary eyed describes me well today. not teary. but a bit blurred. and a bit weary. so altogether bleary.

i want something to blame. like a babyyoutubechanneloprah. but it’s not due to any one thing. there are just a whole bunch of things that all need to happen right now. or yesterday. and i’m finding it difficult to figure out a way to do.it.all. or do even half of it.

//

i think i’ve mentioned that dev and i took a 10 week ‘bradley method’ labor/baby class to prepare for phoenix’s birth. yesterday we had a class reunion with the parents in our class and their little ones. getting all the babies to all stop fussing and sit (up) on the couch was a little harder than it anticipated. i was laughing so much all my photos turned out blurry. but they are still pretty damn cute.

hey babies, grow some necks. thanks.

//

i went to my first estate sale. it was fascinating and poignant and a great reminder of what is important. and what is not.

a 79 year old man up the street passed away in december and so his brother was selling all of his possessions. in part, it felt just like a typical yard sale –  a lifetime of memories crammed into boxes labelled ‘dishes’ and ‘books’, splayed out on the front lawn. but because it was an actual estate sale, we were encouraged to walk through the house and go through drawers, shelves and cupboards to find things we might want to buy. dev found an atari console with games, controllers etc. and i picked up two polaroid land cameras, an original pan am tote bag, some bright blue serving spoons, and a mid-century gray enamel dining table with four chairs that need reupholstering.

i had such a sense of out-of-body-ness as i walked around the house. firstly, it feels intrusive. like i was spying on the intimate details of someone’s life. the brand of mouthwash they used, and how they had a whole box of unopened green tea. and for some reason that made me sad. the thought that they’d purchased it to drink, obviously, but never got around to it. but i also felt like i was being faced with my own mortality. i thought about all of my stuff. and how one day it would all belong to someone else. perhaps someone like me, looking through drawers and deciding what they liked and what they didn’t, and getting excited about a collection of analog cameras, and pissed off that you can no longer by film for them. and it got me thinking about the things we save for special occasions, and how each day is actually one of those occasions, because hey! you’re alive. what better day to pull out the earl grey creme tea that emily bought for me from chicago and use my prettiest mug.

we expend so many energies and resources accruing mere ‘stuff’. this experience was a good reminder that what i really want to keep and create are the moments that make for the best memories.

//

speaking of moments, one minute phoenix was a baby, and suddenly he became a little boy with deep blue eyes that i fall into on a daily basis.

 

08
Jun 12
add comment

friday re.cap.

i love the magic that is iphone-meets-instagram [you can find me with the username ‘cozyhunter’], but i desperately want to go back to this magical patch of earth armed with one of my film cameras. IMAGINE the possibilities!

//

list of things i can’t wait to do with phoenix hugh. (in no particular order).

appreciate a great cup of coffee together.
swim in the ocean.
read his first story.
sleep in the fort he crafts out of furniture.
visit australia so he can meet his grandfather and uncle.

//

this weekend we have our baby class reunion, which means that all the parents-to-be have now given birth to their bundles of joy and we’re getting together for what i can only imagine as a circular conversation that begins and ends with: ‘how much is she/he sleeping? eating? pooping? napping?’ i’m so excited to see phix interact with little ones his age.

//

how to stress me out in five words: mamani leaves in five sleeps.

//

we have a fantastic sofa in our office that reminds me of mad men.

 

05
Jun 12
2 comments

get out[side]

for a couple of years i lived in maine. it’s possibly the prettiest state to live in during the summer months – patches of lush green earth sweeping into romantic rocky coast lines. however, during the fall, but it starts getting pretty cold, and i remember winters there as a long dark passage where no matter how many layers i wore, i still found myself cold. in the morning, i had to account 15 extra minutes just to start my car, and de-ice the windows. i wore snowboots inside and my toes and fingertips were perpetually numb. and that lasts until, oh about may. it was there that i realized i have S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) which means that if i don’t get to frolic in regular bouts of sunshine my mood becomes pretty somber/apathetic. my doctor actually recommended i start taking anti-depressants, or go to a tanning bed. errr – what?!

in california i get all the sun one could want. seriously out of 365 days there are probably a grand total of 30 days when it is either raining or a bit too cold to want to spend much time outdoors. but there are still some weeks where i feel the familiar tug of sadness cascade down and lace my shoulders. and since it’s not sunshine deprivation, i think it might be the effects of N.A.D. yep, nature affective disorder that i need to consider. this article talks about how not spending enough time outdoors can take it’s toll on our physical, mental and emotional health. i’m a believer.

which leads me to this – a tree house restaurant in thailand that i need to frequent one day.

04
Jun 12
1 comment

on being the birthday grinch.

i have always had a bit of uneasiness when it comes to celebrating my birthday. interestingly, it’s not the getting old part that trips me up – i think it’s all the attention that makes me a bit nervous. it wasn’t really part of my family’s tradition to make a big deal out of birthdays (which is why one time i faked it just to get presents), and so i guess it always feels a bit ‘much’. i think it also has to do with expectations. trying not to have them. trying to live up to them. i felt the same way on mother’s day this year. i mean, i get it. it’s lovely to be celebrated as a mama. and i’m ALL for celebrating other mothers. i would by lying if i said i don’t love waking up to treats and thoughtful gestures…but honestly, i also met that day with a bit of anxiety. a feeling that i don’t want me/my role amplified. a sense that marking the day means i have to live up to something that i’m still messily figuring out how to do.

and don’t even get me started on valentines day ;)

in lieu of making big birthday plans this year i told dev i wanted to keep it simple. all i wanted was to go and get massages with my mama, and have family nature-time. and that’s what we did. and it was perfect. low key and serene. in the evening sweet dev threw together a little soirée in our backyard with a handful of close friends. and it all felt easy. fluid and manageable. and as the messages came in throughout the day via text and facebook, email and calls, i felt loved, and overall – grateful.

grateful for this amazing year i’ve had. grateful for my mother & father. grateful for my health. grateful for my incredible friends. grateful that day-by-day, i am figuring out how to metaphorically juggle a job i love while literally juggling a little boy i adore more than i ever knew was possible.

 

04
Jun 12
add comment

eye.spied.

the sentimental part of me loves this idea of a memory bank. a little ceramic vessel that you can fill with things like concert ticket stubs and notes.

//

my mum made me paperweights – pretty smooth round pebbles encased in crochet. yes, my mum is magical.

//

such a simple and effective DIY idea:

//

presenting the camera of my dreams:

//

i think i need a ‘tinker house‘:

//

clever creative cat, jason hull, turns vintage cameras into night lights:

 

03
Jun 12
3 comments

way to woo me, los angeles.

so we found a babbling brook and gazed up at big blue expansive skies. yes, right here in los angeles!

here’s to birthday adventures.

actually, scratch that. here’s to everyday adventures. here’s to packing up your car, partner-in-crime, and coffee, to find a tranquil place. a place where your soul feels lighter, and the air is cleaner. a spot that reminds you who you really are. i want to seek out more of these places and make them part of our family’s routine.

01
Jun 12
1 comment

bits and pieces.

i’m think i might be a reformed extrovert. i adore people and i’ll always be fascinated by how we all ‘work’. why we do the things we do. how we approach the world and each other. the subtleties of human interactions are never lost on me. in fact, i consume them hungrily. i love sitting in airports and coffee shops and libraries and places where you can be a nobody amidst so many somebodies, and just watching. observing. taking.it.all.in.

but my thirst to be part of large crowds and big events has dissipated. i have grown to appreciate and enjoy my own company, and even crave it. i always believed more was in fact, merrier, but now find myself preferring intimate gatherings, one-on-one conversations, focused dialogue. the superficial chit chat i used to excel at engaging in, over music too loud, with people half-listening, is now tedious to me, and i’m exhausted just thinking about that scene. is this what happens when you get old?

this is perhaps why all i want for my birthday tomorrow is a trip to the angeles forest – i want to sit by the most cliché babbling brook that LA can provide, with my baby boy on my lap, my sweet husband by my side, and mamani enjoying the shade of a big tree, while we all drink iced chai.

//

i adore this tiny little ceramic dish that my dear friend leili made for phoenix. doesn’t it look like a treasure you’d find in the ocean?

//

i know i’m totally biased, but holymoly our baby is cute:

even when mamani dresses him in super awkward outfits like this:

28
May 12
4 comments
27
May 12
3 comments

letters to phoenix // 5.

dear phoenix,

hi baby boy! you are three months old today, and by my calculations this means you’ve been on this side of your womb world for a grand total of 90 days. i think that deserves celebrating. i could eat crème brûlée and in turn, you’d (sort of) be eating crème brûlée in a few hours. but alas, your dad and mamani are currently dieting which means there are NO treats in this house. mini-tangent: in an act of rebellion, i bought a container of coconut macaroons last night. and then came home and ate them all for dinner. you know, like a responsible adult. but my foray into the world of decadence back-lashed when you woke up at 3am on some kind of evil sugar high and refused to go back to sleep. in conclusion, no amount of macaroons taste as good as 3am sleep feels.

everyone told me that things would get easier once you hit the three month mark, and i’m happy to report that all those people were not the disillusioned giant liar-pants that i had suspected them to be. over the past couple of weeks a certain transformation did happen and you started sleeping better and busting out that juicy grin of yours more, and suddenly this whole parenting thing felt less like a mysterious, terrifying abyss that i was falling into and more like hey, i might be able to climb this mountain after all. and whoa, the view from up here is actually pretty awesome. even though my legs are tired and i need a snack.

so that’s progress!

i think it also took me these past 12 weeks to really internalize that i am not alone on some island for clumsy, weepy, woefully under-prepared parents. there are hundreds of us, thousands perhaps. all trying to figure it out day by day. i guess it’s just not really talked about as we stand bleary-eyed in line to get our decaf espresso because we are all so busy pretending that we have our crap together, and we don’t want to seem ungrateful or weak, and let’s face it, the general public doesn’t need to know the intimate details of the vomit-fest 2012 when our crap definitely wasn’t together. but over these past weeks i’ve gotten so many kind messages and emails that all echo the same sentiment of: i *get* what you’re going through. i’ve been there/i’m still there. and it’s OK. you will be OK.

so here i am phixy, on the other side of 12 weeks, madly in love with you and charmed by your every facial expression. i love watching you as you greedily explore your new world and absorb the tiniest details – the patterns the light makes on the walls, the texture of your blanket, the way the sun filters through the tree branches overhead as we take our afternoon walks. in turn, i see the world through your beautiful eyes and it becomes new to me too. i’ve experienced a lot in my three decades of life, but over three short months, you have been the one to teach me how to live in the moment and to fully appreciate the magic of right ‘now’.

love,

mama

22
May 12
6 comments

twelve weeks. and a day.

i have a feeling this post might be a bit complainy, so to offset all of that, watch this adorable video of an elderly couple figuring out how to use their webcam.  even though i’m anxious to always keep up with technology, i’m already struggling. siri refuses to complete any task i give her – i was proud of teaching her that devon is my husband but then it took me 30 minutes to convince her that ‘devon gundry SP’ and ‘dev’ are, in fact, the same person. and now every time i ask her to call my husband she condescendingly asks “which husband?” ugh. really siri? i don’t need your sass.

**

i really wanted to write phoenix a letter to mark his 12th week, but then like so many of my intentions recently, life got in the way. this life. this life where i sleep for two hour intervals throughout the night and phix wakes at 6am wanting to be entertained. i’m poor entertainment value at 6am. or let’s be honest, anytime before 10am. so he gets disgruntled with me and complains. his dad then takes over, and that keeps him happy for a few precious minutes while i close my eyes and pretend to sleep while pushing aside pointless jealousy of the pre-baby me that used to wake whenever i damn well pleased.

i always feel five steps behind these days. i used to pride myself on my multi-tasking skills. my ability to juggle numerous projects without breaking my stride. i had a voracious love for constant momentum and expansion and learning how to do something. and then figuring out how to do it even better. i’ve had my fair share of all-nighters and jumping into the deep end of a project and having to learn how to swim.

but this whole becoming a mother, literally overnight, has humbled me. left me disheveled and confused, wearing the same t-shirt for three days with the longest hair i’ve had in my life tumbled into a nest on top of my head. when phix does finally nap i find myself doing a myriad of small tasks. wiping down countertops and sweeping the floor (again). i think i’m drawn to these tasks because they are finite. the counter is dirty and i clean it. and it’s done. i’ve accomplished SOMETHING. whereas with my work tasks, things like helping to build a production company and generate ideas for a full-blown tv series and be on my A-game when we meet with some of the most creative minds in the industry, feel so immense and all-consuming. they need my focus and attention, and can’t just be knocked out in between nursing and a diaper change.

and sometimes i feel like i’m doing a half-decent job. my baby is a plump 14 pounds now. his blue eyes twinkle and he charms strangers with his smiles. he is observant and attentive and there are *some* nights when he goes to sleep without too much fuss at 8pm and i feel like handing our team (mamani, dev and myself) gold medals for our fantastic effort.

but then i read about five-star moms that take their babies on daily adventures, picnics in the park, music classes and yoga, and i feel like a failure because we haven’t left our neighborhood in days. it doesn’t help that phix currently hates being in his car seat and cries from point a to point b. driving in LA can be stressful enough without a little human in the back seat screaming at you.

and here’s what our baby monitor looks like 90% of the time that phix is supposed to be napping:

**

things that i have loved lately:

1. rebecca woolf saying it better than i can.

2. a beautifully photographed blackberry goat cheese tart recipe.

3. this brilliant article about why no one should ever say they are ‘ready’ to have a baby.

**

in lieu of a letter here’s a quick list of phix’s major milestones:

1. he got cuter. i don’t really know how this happens. i mean, surely there is a cap on cuteness right? but he keeps exceeding it. one day it felt like i fell asleep with a squishy baby and then awoke to a bright eyed little boy. his smiles are so charming that they make me blush. i’m not kidding. i think it’s due to the fact that he bestows them very discerningly. he doesn’t just waltz around with a big grin on his face. in fact, most of the time he has a very serious i’m-studying-you (and you need a shower) look on his face. so when he does smiles at you, you feel like the most important person in the room.

2. he discovered his hands. and they have fast become his most favorite past-time. he is constantly cramming as many fingers as he can into his mouth and making loud slurping noises as if he is relishing every last morsel and needs us to be fully aware of just how.delicious.he.is.

3. he gave a girl a hickey. ok, so that sounds much worse than it is. our dear friend came to visit for the weekend and she helped put phix to sleep by rocking him in her arms. since she obviously couldn’t nurse him, resourceful phix took this opportunity to clamp his little mouth onto her bicep and fell asleep sucking on her arm – resulting in a pretty intense hickey. or four. i don’t really blame him though. this is what you get if you show up to my house with your limbs all nice and tanned from your sojourn in hawaii.

4. the indie singer songwriter channel on pandora has to be playing (loudly) for phix to fall asleep. do you know HOW MANY TIMES I’VE LISTENED TO JEFF BUCKLEY’S HALLELUJAH? too many times. that’s how many.

5. phix still loves water. and most mornings, we take showers together. is that controversial these days? i don’t care. there is nothing much more awesome than holding his chubby little body as we both bask in the streaming hot water. it’s safe to say that there is nothing in the world that smells better to me than my freshly showered baby with his long damp eyelashes.

**

appropriately, this quote found its way to me today:

 “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” ― Eckhart Tolle

19
May 12
2 comments

devon hugh.

one of the most amazing things about phoenix entering our lives has been watching devon grow and expand to embrace the role of papa-hood. if you know dev, then you know that he doesn’t really know how to do anything half-way. if i suggest we watch a half hour show before bed, dev wants to watch the entire season. i agree to buying one bag of chocolate nutty clusters from trader joes, and dev leaves the store armed with 7 different assorted treats. when he sets his mind on something he gives it his all, and his approach to being a dad is no different. he is 1000% involved, attentive, present and willing to do whatever it takes to be the best dad he can be. this is awesome on so many levels, which makes up for the times when it’s just plain annoying – like when he would pester me every.single.day of my pregnancy to make sure i was drinking enough water (out of glass bottles only!) and eating enough protein (i’ve never eaten more eggs than i have over the past year).

i’m not surprised by dev’s level of devotion to little phix, but i am somewhat taken back by just how fiercely overprotective he is of his little one. if you so much as *think* about coughing near phix, it is likely dev will kick you out of our home faster than you can say tuberculosis.

phix’s relationship to his dad is also heart-expanding. he definitely ‘knows’ his papa, and there are certain occasions when the only thing that will soothe his fussiness is dev holding him tightly while they sit in a a barely lit room listening to music together. sometimes i spy on them in this state with phix resting his head gently on his papa’s shoulder, and devon’s entire hand supporting his little back as he whisper-shouts “don’t worry phoenix. don’t worry. i love you. i am your best friend” over and over again.

and when i watch them during their ‘music time’ i feel such a surge of love for both of them that i fear my heart will break open. they are so achingly sweet and so evidently besotted with each other.

from the moment i met dev it was obvious to me that he was going to be a wonderful dad one day. and i was right. he is joyful, patient, generous, kind and loving. i once read this piece of advice about choosing a partner and it said “find a man who you would be happy for your future sons to grow up to be like”. i can say, without hesitation, that i would be so happy for phix to turn out just like his papa.

happy birthday my love!

gol

12
May 12
5 comments

five things on a friday

so last night was, in two words, a nightmare. my mum and i contracted some kind of food poisoning bug and spent the entire night throwing up. taking turns in our one bathroom while dev kept an eye on phix while feeling pretty seedy himself. it was one of those nights that you wake up from utterly defeated. i’m trying to keep up my milk supply for phix so i’m now sipping ice water and craving one of those cheap red popsicles that we’d get as kids. i don’t even know what flavor they are. the ‘red’ flavor i guess.

and even though it would have made for an AMAZING blog post, i’m just SO grateful that the bug decided to wait till the evening to attack us from the inside out. imagine if it had decided to make its grand entrance during our meeting with O and her team. somehow, i think me in my hot pink dress  throwing up in the wastebasket nonstop would have been just a little distracting/disturbing.

//

two of my most beloveds are going to be visiting us in LA this weekend and i’m super excited. i’ve been blessed with some phenomenal friends and spending time with them is a refueling like no other. #grateful

//

i don’t know if you saw this time magazine cover doing the rounds yesterday – there was a lot of heated debate about it. i read some articles about the controversy with some interest – after all i’m a breastfeeding mama and i’m curious about this subject. and then this morning i found this blog post that beautifully summed up my thoughts about the whole issue.

//

the folks at Artspace recently contacted me and asked if would spread the word about a Pinterest contest they’re hosting. it’s easy to enter – just complete these 5 easy steps & one grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 Artspace eGift card. awesomesauce.

(1) Follow Artspace on Pinterest.

(2) Create a Board and call it “Art I love”

(3) Go to Artspace.com and find at least five works of art that you love and pin them to your board. Include #artspacefaves in the description of each pin.

(4) Write one sentence in the board description that explains how art inspires you.

(5) Re-pin the Artful Pinterest Contest official pin to complete your entry.

Full terms and conditions here. HAPPY PINNING!

//

this. enough said:

10
May 12
4 comments

thursday round up.

1. our little trip to tennessee was lovely. dev got to be there for his younger brother’s graduation, and i got to squeeze some of my favorite people in the world. i will always have a soft spot in my heart for tennessee – it is the place where my heart was broken, mended, and given a second chance. the second we stepped off the plane we were greeted with the smell of BBQ wafting through the terminal and a band playing live country music. welcome to nashville YA’LL. phix was a total gem on the plane both there and back. as we approached our seats i could tell our seat neighbors were torn between thinking ‘oh no, screamy baby alert’ (!) and ‘well, at least he’s a cute one’. but he was SUCH a good baby. he slept the entire time, except for thirty minutes where he woke up to bat his eyelashes, smile at his grandma’s and cause the flight attendant’s ovaries to explode.

2. i have always loved the idea of taking children’s art and turning it into another sort of tangible form – like paintings, or photos. so when ashley sent me this link to a studio that creates toys modeled precisely from kid’s drawings, i was instantly a fan.

3. if you watch the soulpancake shorts on the oprah winfrey network, you already know that i’m a sucker for street stunts that leave you smiling. this is a good one :)

4. today we had an in-person meeting with oprah(!) about the future of soulpancake. and i can sum it up by saying that the future of soulpancake is so very bright and beautiful! the whole 1.5 hr meeting i tried really hard to be composed and coherent. but inside i was a messy jumble of nerves and excitement because well, it’s OPRAH. and i am sitting directly across from her and she is speaking to me and holding eye contact. it’s days like today when all the hard-work, and sacrifices, and striving for excellence, and all-nighters, and literal tears, all finally pay off. because there we are having a conversation with the queen of television about what a full length SoulPancake show could look like. and she is telling our team that what we do, is exactly why she created her network – to give people another way to explore the facets of our human, yet spiritual, experience in life. #whoa #whoa #whoa

5. meanwhile, i’m insanely smitten with a certain baby bear:

30
Apr 12
3 comments

monday mish mash.

i must be doing a half decent job expressing my interests/loves/inspirations on my blog because i often get emails from readers with suggestions of other things i might like and 99% of the time they are correct. this link, sent to me by lea (hi lea!), is one of them.

check out these awesome installations in nature by cornelia konrad:

(this would be a very cool wedding ‘threshold’ of sorts)

//

TWO SMALL THINGS THAT IRK ME:

people that ‘sulk’ when they pose for a photo. you don’t look mysterious, or aloof, or hot. #youjustlookangry.

being required to send a fax.

//

HOW TO WOO ME:

1. suggest we go for a walk.

2. take me to where wide open expansive skies are.

3. laugh. a lot.

4. dispose of trash. even if it isn’t yours.

5. have a positive attitude. smart people can learn anything. but i don’t think a good attitude can be ‘taught’.

6. harness the power of great storytelling.

7. relish in the simple things. like fresh guacamole.

//

valentino fialdini has also wooed me with the ‘rooms’ that he created out of legos.

//

i love my books a bit too much to carve them up, but i have to admit, i really like these creations by thomas allen.

//

if’ you’ve ever lost a camera, you know how devastating it can be. that’s why this site is such a good idea. you can upload photos you’ve found on a stray camera in hopes that the owner of the camera (or someone who knows that person) sees them.

28
Apr 12
add comment

broken doesn’t always mean bad.

any mention of a polaroid camera usually makes my heart happy, however this story is exceptional. william miller buys a polaroid SX-70 and to his dismay it doesn’t work right BUT it creates amazing abstract art instead:

see more here.

//

also, a few readers of my blog have asked if i have an instagram account and i do! you can find me under the username: cozyhunter. be warned however, 9 out of 10 photos lately are of a certain chubby cheeked baby.

27
Apr 12
6 comments

letters to phoenix // 4

dear phoenix,

it is the 27th of april, which means that today you are TWO MONTHS OLD!

i usually refrain from using exclamation points but this statement deserves all caps and an exclamation point and perhaps even a flashmob. so i’ll get on that. oh you know, right after i’ve changed out of my uniform of maternity leggings and a t-shirt covered in spit-up stains that has morphed into a wide scoop neck because i just pull it down to feed you. not exactly satorialist approved.

it’s safe to say that you are the cutest two month old baby i have ever laid eyes on. i don’t want to place too much emphasis on your physical attributes every time i write you letters, because it’s temporary and we live in a world that places way too much importance on looks, but baby boy, you’re a stunner. dark flicky hair, indigo blue eyes, cheeks for days, and a certain smirk that some might say you’ve inherited from your mama.

last week i made you pose for your thank you email. (sidenote: i had planned to get beautiful letterpress cards printed, but that plan has gone on a hike along with the plan to attend yoga classes, and the plan to catch up on work emails. in fact, i imagine all these plans are now lounging about enjoying a picnic in the sun and laughing at my naivety.)

anyway, you were such an expert poser that it was hard to pick just one photo, so i went with this triptych approach:

and in response to your thank you email, you now have a stock pile of responses to read from friends and family that already love you so much. no pressure or anything, but your inbox awaits.

all your eating has paid off and you are now TWICE the weight you were when you were born, which means you are 12.5 pounds of cute. this makes you even more squeezable, however the multitasking i used to be able to do when i could nurse you with one arm while iphoning/tea drinking/eyebrow plucking with the other, is no longer possible. so basically i’m forced to focus on you and the cacaphony of sounds you make as you nurse – which are all pretty hilarious actually. there is one particular ‘snorting’ sound that makes your grandma laugh. i imagine it’s the same sound that those pigs that dig for elusive truffles make. and i mean that in the nicest possible way.

and while we’re on the subject of nursing – you now recognize when i have you in the horizontal-you-are-about-to-be-fed position and you get very eager to get started (this is why i just pull my tops down. you have ZERO patience for zippers and buttons and modest disrobing). as soon as you realize what’s about to happen your eyes get wild and you start shaking your head from side to side before lunging at me and clamping on. (this is probably far too detailed for 99% of the readers of this blog, but there you go. i’m also sure our mailman wishes he wasn’t privvy to all the nuances of breastfeeding either but our house just happens to have a lot of windows. sorry!) anyway, your papa calls this move of yours ‘the piranha’ because it really is quite a frenzied attack. we’ve tried to capture it on video, but since we’re not exactly national geographic camera ops, we can’t ever get it. you’re too fast and there’s only so much space between you and i, and once your papa’s giant orb of hair starts encroaching and you add an iPhone to the mix, i hit my limit.

watching your relationship with your papa is probably the most heart expanding thing i’ve ever experienced. he absolutely adores you. the moment he steps through the front door he starts yelling MY BOY, MY JOY! MY BOY, MY JOY! like a siren until he locates you in the house. when he does find you, his skin can’t contain his excitement and even if you are sleeping you will sense his energy in the room, and you’ll wake up. which just excites your papa even more. within moments he has you propped against the couch cushions while he plays you made-up songs on his guitar. and you watch him mesmerized as if you are his number one groupie. and my heart can barely handle the sweetness that surrounds a papa and his son.

last week mamani and i packed up your newborn outfits. i fingered the tiny sleeves and collars and couldn’t believe you were once so small. everything you’ve worn for the past two months fits into a small plastic package that once contained the fitted sheet for our bed (mamani’s resourcefulness means that no packet/container/box is ever thrown away as there is always another way it can be used). the package is now stored in our wardrobe awaiting baby number two or someone else’s newborn, or perhaps a day when i need a good cry because i miss my once-baby.

i aspire to be honest and vulnerable with you in these letters little phix. perhaps for no other reason than to one day remind you that i’m human, and flawed and fragile at times. i’m doing the best that i can but sometimes my best feels nowhere near enough. yesterday, for example you spent the entire day annoyed with the world. nothing soothed your nerves – not baths, or cuddles, or walks outside. we even gave you colic calm drops to no avail. even though you were bleary eyed with fatigue you refused to sleep with every ounce of fight in your body. so when your papa came home you grumbled in his arms as well and so he turned to me and asked why you were crying. his innocent question sliced through the remaining threads of sanity i was holding on to and i fell apart. i went into the bathroom, held my head in my hands and i cried.

i cried because you were uncomfortable and i couldn’t fix you. i cried because i miss my job and i cried because that makes me feel guilty. i cried because it doesn’t seem fair that the baby next door sleeps through the night. i cried because the shower needs to be cleaned. i cried because i haven’t had a decent cup of coffee in a year. and i cried because i realized that there are barely any photographs of the three of us as a family. but most of all, i cried because i was more tired than i have ever experienced in.my.entire.life.

when i finally resurfaced i had just enough strength to crawl into bed and that’s where i stayed while your papa and grandma entertained you and hugged and kissed your blues away. i pulled the covers over my head and tried to fall asleep, which you’d think would be easy when you’re so exhausted that even your eyelashes ache, but no. so instead, i checked my emails and saw a video someone had sent me of a baby having his first bath. and it was so beautiful, so serene and sweet, and i burst into tears all over again. tears of remorse that your first bath was not this experience, tears because the person bathing the baby was SO present and careful and attentive, and i felt like i’d been none of those things that day. tears because you will never be that tiny again, and i only get a certain amount of time with you and i don’t want to fail you in my small window of opportunity.

so that was yesterday. last night you slept for a stretch of six (count ‘em) hours(!) and today is a new day. you’re figuring out how to be a baby and i’m figuring out how to be a mama and ahead of us lies another million chances to get it right.

love,

mama

25
Apr 12
6 comments

hidden agendas.

i can’t remember who it was that first mentioned the term ‘hidden agendas’ to me, but it basically refers to people who present one thing, when they actually feel/believe/want something else. it’s a little different to being hypocritical or superficial however, because at the core of it there lies a seedy longing to bring the other person down or to ‘take’ something from them (the ‘agenda’ part). i’m not sure if hidden agendas are a by-product of envy, or anger, or just deep insecurity. but regardless they are insidious and a barrier when it comes to establishing a healthy relationship. like most human interactions, i feel this as a sort of energy. and these days i find myself attuned to this kind of dishonesty more than ever before. i think my sensitivity has something to do with becoming a parent. suddenly i’ve been forced to place a huge amount of value and trust in my intuition, and as i have given myself license to do so, my intuition emits a pretty clear signal over the landscape of my heart/head.

i would say that i’ve spent many of my former days ‘people pleasing’. conflict makes me anxious and i prefer to know that everyone i interact with is happy. and not just happy in general, but moreover, happy with me. knowing that i’ve caused pain/hurt etc. bothers me. the kind of bothering that keeps me up at night. the kind of bothering that i can’t shake off with reasoning or hearing that “it’s their problem. not yours”. and i think it’s important to own that i myself have often operated from an approach that isn’t 100% honest just for the sake of “keeping the peace” and not making waves, and that oh-so-human desire to be liked. and the sad part is that my people pleasing approach didn’t really discriminate, so i smiled and hugged and tried to find common ground with people who i *knew* did not have my best interests at heart.

but then a shift happened. not overnight. but gradually. i started releasing the need to make sure i made everyone happy and as i did so, i started showing up to my relationships from a much more honest place. and yes, i still slip up. but i’m getting more conscious of the times i’m operating behind a facade and i’m actively trying to do better. i’m realizing that i can still love in abundance, and yet i don’t need to cultivate friendships with e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. especially not the people in my life who carry an arsenal of hidden agendas. the hard part for me has always been creating boundaries and sticking to them. but as dev and i create our family culture i find we have no time for energies that dissipate us or leech from our joy, creativity, and general excitement-at-being-alive.

so there’s that.

i want to also mention how thankful i am to have this little patch of cyberspace where i can share the things i’m dealing with. almost every other day, i receive an email from a reader of this little blog and though i don’t have the time to personally respond to every note, the messages do not go unread. i’m so touched to have a circle of friends (and also many strangers) who support and follow my journey – the good, the bad, and the screamy.

24
Apr 12
4 comments

our 8 week old smoochling.

when i was pregnant i had an app on my phone that would tell me “your baby is the size of an olive/plum/butternut squash etc.” it seems now my baby is the size of a ukulele. awesome.

23
Apr 12
1 comment

things that make me feel a certain sudden sadness. a list:

+ lost pet flyers. especially lost pet flyers in children’s handwriting.
+ bookstores closing.
+ fake flowers. fake plants. fake anythings.
+ the wetness of tear remnants on my baby’s eyelashes.
+ what was left unsaid.
+ weak hugs.
+ scant tea options.
+ dull company staff rooms where microwave dinners abound.
+ barren refrigerators.
+ deflated balloons.
+ airport goodbyes.
+ fluorescent lights.
+ empty playgrounds.

**

i’ve always loved lists. and now that my time in front of a screen is somewhat limited i think i will be writing more of them. one of the BEST list writers i know is Quddus. here and here are two of his. and here are a two others i liked:

RANDOM THINGS I FIND EMINENTLY INTERESTING AND READ ABOUT THEM ALL THE TIME ON WIKIPEDIA FOR NO REASON AT ALL, A LIST:

– chess grandmasters
– the Justices of the High Court of Australia
– spiders (freaking creepy)
– Bertrand Russel
– child geniuses, people who get perfect 1600s on the SATs, that kinda thing

THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T THINK WHEN YOU WERE 10 YOU’D EVER THINK EVER, A LIST:

(1) these shoes are uncomfortable as all hell but i look sexy as all hell in them (and taller too)
(2) leave me alone, i wanna stay in bed a bit longer
(3) grass stains are the most annoying to get out. (actually, cherries too)
(4) i like well made beds. they make sleep so… formal. like an invitation.
(5) i’m lonely. consequently, i think i’ll stream internet videos of other people having sex and hopefully just fall asleep quicker
(6) dude, i’ll call you back, i’m just watching the news
(7) sushi beats pizza.
(8) i have nobody i can talk to about this. this is my problem.
(9) maybe i should just get it terminated. it’s nothing, then life will go on. again. ish.

17
Apr 12
4 comments

ready. steady.

it’s not safe (because it can blind other drivers) but i still think this is an awesome helmet:

(thanks courtney craig for knowing me oh so well).

this toothpick holder is super kitschy but also kind of fantastic.

//

i feel like there is an invisible string tied directly between phix’s bottom lip and my heart, so when his lip quivers in sadness all i want to do is find a way to make it better. the responsibility of ‘making it all better’ weighs on me. sometimes it feels like a warm coat on a cold day. heavy and reassuring and ever-present. and other times i’m suffocated by the sheer bulk of it. i want to cast it aside and revel in a summer haze where i am only responsible for myself. like every other aspect of parenthood i am caught between wanting and un-wanting. i know that’s not a real word, but i don’t always have the real words these days.

i find myself thinking that i can’t wait until he’s older. and then the next moment i’m folding up his newborn outfits with tears in my eyes because he is growing far too quickly. even when he’s sleeping i’m divided. i’m so glad he’s finally asleep. i have my arms free. i can catch up on work. i can make our bed. but then i stare at his serene little face and i miss him so desperately that i want him to wake up just so i can hug him.

//

//

whoever thinks babies are boring has not met our phoenix hugh. he is passionate. attentive. wide-eyed and observant. he relishes warm water trickling on his back and he likes his feet to be held while he naps. when he graces you with his smile it feels like double-rainbows just exploded all over the room. his cries are loud. he knows what he wants. while his papa plays the guitar he listens and watches him with an intense gaze of concentration – dev’s captive audience of one. he mimics mamani’s facial expressions and his fussiness is appeased when she takes him outside to ‘see the birds’. he eats every meal as if it is his last. voraciously gulping faster than his little body can take it in and when he’s done and his head is too heavy for him to hold up, we laugh at his milk-drunk stupor.

//

we hosted an open house for the launch of our official soulpancake office last weekend. we served up custom made pancakes on the skillet and invited a lot of folks who are friends of SP. rainn gave a little welcome speech and a bunch of thank yous to people who have been a huge help in getting SP to where it is today.

it was a really fantastic event and we are all so excited to finally have a place to work out of that isn’t a car/coffeeshop/our bed. you can see some photos from the brunch here. as you’ll see we have most of the furniture installed and we are now putting the finishing touches on the decor and personalizing the space a bit more. i think it’s pretty awesome that all the art elements you see in the photos we created ourselves. i really love this piece that one of our web designers and dev built out of hot pink and white string at 4am the night before the event:

we also gave out copies of soulpancake’s 2012 reel and my mum sewed ‘cases’ for the dvds out of an old dictionary i had:

i’m now getting to the juncture where i need to figure out how i plan to divide my time between mamahood and my role with soulpancake. it has come as somewhat of a surprise to me that i really miss my work. in my absence, dev and shabs have forged on with all the demands of our rapidly-growing company, and although it has been wonderful having this time to focus on phix, there are some pretty insane opportunities on the horizon for soulpancake and i can’t imagine not being involved in them. i read most of the work emails that flurry into my inbox and try to sit in on conference calls, but it’s not quite the same. i guess it boils down to the fact that i want one foot in each world, and i’m not sure if that’s realistic.

//

future album art?

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails
« Older Entries
Newer Entries »
Copyright © 2015 THE COZYHUNTER