Monday, September 22, 2014


It's hard to believe we have another baby due in just a few months and with all the transition our family has been (and still is) going through, I've completely put all baby preparations on the back burner. I finally started to put together a small shopping list because with as overwhelming as shopping for a new baby can be, lists are the only way to avoid frustration. The silver lining about shopping for this baby is that we saved most of the things we used during Kenso's first year so we don't have much to buy. These are some of the things I've been mentally collecting.....

1. NUNA SENA MINI - We actually already purchased this one and I can't find enough words to describe how wonderful it is. I was searching for some sort of co-sleeper or bassinet that I could keep next to the bed at night, but that was also portable enough to move from room to room and even take traveling. I wanted something that not only checked all the boxes as far as functionality, but that was also aesthetically pleasing to look at every day. I couldn't have designed a better cot than this one. The Sena Mini is lightweight (18.3lbs) with a plush quilted (Yes Quilted!!) 20" x 30" mattress. It's also the only cot that opens and closes with the upper cot attachment in place. Did I mention the one handed fold/unfold?!? I already had the Sena Mini on our list for the new baby but we ran out and bought one two weeks ago when we needed something in a pinch for the little guy to sleep in while we were house hunting in the bay area and he slept and napped like a champ in this cot. I highly recommend it!!

2. THE YUCCA MAT - This is the cadillac of portable changing mats! The Yucca Mat is handmade with love in my home state of California and it shows. I love it all the way down to the little details. With a removable all natural cotton changing pad and a zippered pocket to stow diapers, wipes, etc. you can leave the diaper bag behind (on short trips of course) and lug this stylish incognito changing mat instead!

3. SHORN BABYCARE SHEEPSKIN - I've read about the benefits of sheepskins for infants and thought about buying one for Kenso when he was a baby, but never got around to it. Not only are they oh so soft and comfy, they help regulate body temperature by staying cool in the summer and providing warmth in the winter. Bowron Sheepskins comply to the highest health and safety standards in the industry so you can rest assured that your baby is resting safely. I'm definitely considering one of these for our newborn.

4. NATURSUTTEN PACIFIERS - Natursutten Pacifiers are made ecologically sustainable from pure natural rubber from the tree Hevea brasiliensis. The ortho design follows your baby's natural mouth movements and the soft 100% natural rubber material is incredibly strong, biodegradable and will not leave marks on your baby's sweet little face.

5. BUGABOO DONKEY - I'm on the fence about double strollers. They all seem so much bigger, wider, heavier and more cumbersome than I want to deal with. I had my eye on one that had the seats aligned one in front of the other but when I tried to lift the front wheels high enough to hop a standard dice! It didn't even have any babies in it and I STILL couldn't lift the front wheels!! Needless to say I moved on to searching for a side by side version. I liked the Bugaboo Donkey the best as we previously owned a Bugaboo Bee and are very familiar with the quality of these strollers. Even with my 30lb toddler in one of the seats, I could pop the front wheels up one handed with ease. By far the most amazing feature about the donkey is that it converts to a single stroller with just a few simple clicks (check it out here). I'm still on the fence, but if I decide to take the double stroller plunge, I'm plunging towards this one.

 I also wanted to mention some some other items on my wish list. When we purchased our Sena Mini Cot, we finally got to see the Nuna Leaf up close and in person. I don't have enough time to explain why I hate standard baby bouncer seats (um, can you say constant tripping hazard), but the Leaf is different. It's got a mind blowing weight limit of 130lbs so it's lifetime use value won't expire as soon as your baby can sit upright and it uses yours and your baby's own motion instead of batteries. We also plan to purchase the Maxi Cosi Micro AP infant car seat. We love the convertible Pria 70 that our son is currently using so much that we sold his old infant seat with the intention of buying the Micro AP for the new baby. By the way, if you're in the market for a convertible seat, I highly (HIGHLY) recommend the Pria 70. I'm also thinking about picking up a Bundle Of Joy edition carrier from ErgoBaby and another wrap style carrier like a Moby or maybe a Solly. I swear you can never have too many baby carriers, you know. Because my husband is just as much on the fence about double strollers as I am, the Bugaboo Buffalo is still under strong consideration. We really want a more robust stroller than our current one and they make this attachable Wheeled Board that my toddler might use (key word "might"). We like hiking and going to the beach and there are tons of state parks and trails to explore in our new hood so we need a stroller that's built for adventure. Good Gravy! Do you see how quickly a short little shopping list can turn into big overwhelming ball of confusion?!? I'm going back to sticking my head in the sand for a while.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Firstly, this has nothing to do with this post but I just thought I would share that Kenso has discovered "selfies". I felt like this post needed some preemptive cheer so here you go......

Ok, lets get down to the nitty gritty....

I've been talking about how we're moving (but we weren't sure where) for months. Well, we finally have our destination. My husband has been transferred to San Jose, Ca. At first we were all like "YEAH" but then the reality of moving to the most expensive rental market in the nation (silicon valley) set in hard.....really living in a studio apartment with a toddler and a baby on the way hard. It will be a miracle if I make it through the house hunting process without a desperate crying breakdown or two. I'm still in the denial process and trying to wrap my brain around the fact that the average price for a two bedroom apartment is $3000 (Yes! three thousand freaking US dollars) I'll keep you posted.

Hey!?! What the heck happened to the 52 week project? I'm a commitment failure I guess. With all the stress of moving out of our condo and in with our parents and searching craigslist eleventybillion times a day for somewhere to live, I totally threw the portrait series (and pretty much the entire blog) on the back burner. Besides, it's been almost 100 degrees here (I hate summer) for the last several months, so we have been stuck inside where the air conditioning blows 24/7 and there are only so many pictures I can take in one living room, you know.

How bout some baby news! I'm 20 weeks along already. I know, I can't believe it either. I've got my big ultrasound this coming monday and I'm excited to see how she's grown since that little rinky-dink prelim ultrasound I had in my doctors office 10 weeks ago. She's dancing around in my belly right now as I type. I see a tutu in her future for sure. I'll post some ultrasound pictures next week assuming I can pull myself out of the craigslist vortex.

That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!!

xoxo Alia

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I haven't blogged in almost three weeks (totally lame of me, I know). I've also completely missed 2 weeks worth of the 52 week series (also pretty lame of me, I know). The last few weeks have been a BLUR! We moved in with my in-laws so we could save up for a few months before getting our own place. If you've been following along, you know that my husband's new job is going to place us somewhere (probably the bay area or southern california) and because we don't yet know where or what the cost of living will be, we thought it would be smart to have some money set aside. Our move was hectic. One of our cats ran away and still hasn't turned up. I tried to contribute as much as I could but being pregnant means I can't lift anything too heavy. Half of our stuff is currently taking up space in my parents living room and the other half is in boxes under a tarp in my in-laws back yard. Fortunately we were able to put some of our furniture in the living room so it still kinda feels like home. We've been here for a week and a half and I can safely say we're semi-settled in.

Kenso hasn't completely fine tuned his spacial awareness and adjusted to his new surroundings which landed us in the ER last week with a massive bump on the head. The first thing he did when we sat down in the triage chair was throw his only pacifier on the floor. If we were at target, I probably would have just observed the 3 second rule, but the ER......there's no amount of sanitizing that could save us and since I didn't have a back up passy, the rest of out visit went to shit. He managed to chew his hospital ID band completely off and then tried to eat it to the point it was unreadable. Thankfully he was okay and in need of no actual treatment other than hugs and kisses.

Did I mention that in the midst of this whole whirlwind, I (I mean Kenso) finally broke my iphone4 bad enough to justify an upgrade? Yes, I've been a little MIA over on instagram as well and now you know why. 

I finally broke down and went shopping for maternity clothes and it wasn't as horrible as I remember from my last pregnancy. Speaking of my last pregnancy......why do none of my old maternity clothes fit?!? I weigh the same as I did then. What's up with that?!? I'm about 17 weeks and here's my current view. I'm happy to announce that I've finally crossed that early pregnancy threshold between looking like I've over indulged on too many donuts and I now look obviously pregnant. Yay!

Like I said, we're all somewhat adjusted. I guess as adjusted as we can be or we want to be since we're gonna hitch up our wagon and move again sometime in october. One thing I'm sure of is that I don't miss our old sage green and banana yellow condo or the suburbs at all. We're on an adventure. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, July 25, 2014


"A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014"

We spent the entire day in our pjs snuggling, playing, napping and watching cartoons on my phone.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


For the last year and a half I've been referring him as "the little guy" and every time I write it, I just think it sounds silly. I don't know how I can ever expect anyone to relate to an unnamed child. To me, his name is synonymous with his personality and every time I refer to him anonymously I feel like I'm leaving out a major part of who he is, almost like a picture with the head cropped out. When I first started blogging about our family, I wanted to preserve as much of our anonymity as possible. After all, the internet is full of weirdos and I didn't want to reveal too much. I read so many beautiful blogs about beautiful families and I've realized that the blogs I love most are the one's that I relate to most. The one's with the most honest and personal content. The reason why is because I feel like I know them. I've been reading since before some of their children were born. I remember waiting in great anticipation for the arrival of little one's and feeling so included as they introduced their babies to the world. I've enjoyed every picture they've shared and appreciated dearly being able to watch their families (especially their children) grow.

It's hard to find a balance between sharing your story with the world and not compromising the safety and security of the one's you hold so dear to your heart. On one side of the coin, I want to promote a positive yet honest account of parenting and family life. On the other, I still want to preserve as much of our privacy as possible. I don't share everything and I never will, but I want to make the most of what I do share with you. I want to give you the whole picture of what I do choose to share, not a picture that's so vague, blurry and poorly cropped that it's destined for the cutting room floor.

With that said, there are going to be some changes. I'll be writing more about what's to come very soon, however, the first change is going to be made today......

I would like to introduce Kenso (aka the little guy). He's named for his great grandfather, a man I am sad I never got to meet. His name is of Japanese origin and has many meanings, but to me it means love.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


found a new playground // seeing his baby sister for the first time on the ultrasound // splashpad heaven // standing on his horse so he could see out the window // mall playplace // shopping for a double stroller // toddler aftermath // sunday cartoons on mom's iphone // favorite fountain // coffee table dance party // trying to catch bubbles // he sorts toy pieces by color

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