Eden’s 1st Birthday Party

My baby turned into a bonafide big kid toddler last month, and I wanted to share a few photos from her birthday party. Since it was way too hot this time of year to host the party in our backyard, our friends who own this super hip house paint store, Portola Paints, offered to let us use their space. It was a pretty rad backdrop for a 1st birthday party, I’ve gotta say! We decorated with big, gold balloons I ordered on Etsy and bud vases full of blooms from the L.A. Flower Mart, which is where all the florists in L.A. get their flowers at wholesale. Here are a few of my favorite pics (all taken by the talented Stephanie Todaro)…

Gold Letter Balloons

Eden's birthday hashtag

See more photos after the jump…

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On Weaning

On Weaning

I think we are weaning, and I am kind of sick about it. If I had it my way we’d have at least a few more months left, but three days ago Eden started refusing to nurse every time I’ve offered. I know there are such things as “nursing strikes,” and I could keep trying to force it while pumping up a storm to maintain my milk supply (breastfeeding is a supply and demand phenomenon), but I might just have to let nature take its course.

We had the roughest time learning to breastfeed at the beginning (like seriously rough—it took weeks and many visits to the lactation consultant and other specialists before it felt anywhere near natural). And if you had told me back then that I would eventually miss it, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. To be honest, I only kept going those first few weeks because I have a majorly Type-A, perfectionist personality, and I don’t like not succeeding at something I set out to do. But once we got past that initial hump, it became something really, really special.

I had trouble adjusting to motherhood. I don’t think anyone ever finds it easy, but I didn’t have many friends with babies yet, so I was especially unprepared. Looking back, I really had no idea what to expect or what was normal. Eden cried a lot, and I felt very lost during those first few sleepless weeks. But nursing Eden grounded me. It connected us in a very tactical sense.

Breastfeeding tethers you to your baby. During those first six months before an infant starts on solid food, a breastfed baby usually wants to nurse every two or three hours—sometimes around the clock. In some ways this is extremely challenging, and there were days when it used to drive me up a wall. The couple of times when Mark insisted I get out of the house and do something for myself during my maternity leave, I hardly had time to go to a yoga class or go get my nails done before I had to rush back to nurse again. And then there were all the middle of the night feedings…

But for this exact same reason—that we were tethered to each other—nursing was also so beautiful. It allowed me to devote myself fully to motherhood in a way I might have had trouble doing otherwise. Even once I went back to work—when I would sometimes catch a glimpse of my former childless self, surrounded by my friends and colleagues who aren’t parents yet—I was connected to Eden, pumping milk every three hours that I was away from her. I liked having that near constant reminder that I was a mama now, because adjustment period aside, there is nothing else I’d rather be.

By learning to breastfeed, Eden and I had made a very tactical, physical commitment to not stray too far from each other during her infancy. I knew that she would always need me and always ask for, even if not by name yet. I also knew that I wouldn’t be taking any big trips without her or working too many late nights for that first year. It was a difficult balance, sure. But I was also so glad to have that time where we were tethered to each other. Because I knew that it would be so fleeting.

I know that weaning is only the first of many steps she’ll make toward her independence. And that’s the goal, right? To raise a happy, well adjusted, independent human being? But it’s still so hard to let go of that little baby of mine. Luckily, I can already see that she’s turning into a happy, curious, active little toddler. And I always have that next phase to look forward to.

P.S. I know it’s been a little while, but I want to get back into this little blog! I’ve been bad about the baby book, and I figure recording our life here will be an even better way to remember it.

Photo: Stephanie Todaro Photography

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The Story of Eden’s Birth

Eden Saul

On August 29th, a Friday night, Mark came home from work with a sweet little bouquet from my favorite flower shop and announced that we were going out to dinner at a surprise location. We still had almost four weeks to go until Eden’s September due date, but I had been feeling pretty uncomfortable in the final weeks of pregnancy (plus, my doctor had told us that there was a chance she might arrive a little early), so it seemed like a good time to get in a last special dinner date together before bébé. Mark took me to Pace, an absolutely delicious and cozy spot in Laurel Canyon that we had never been to before. We dined on house-made pasta with seasonal, farmers market produce, and chocolate soufflé cake for dessert. Little did we know at the time that it would literally be our last meal together before baby!

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Oh Baby: She’s Here!


I am overjoyed to share that Eden Eliot Saul arrived on August 30, 2014. She was almost four weeks early, but I guess she just couldn’t wait to join the party! She was a tiny little thing at 5 lbs, 9 oz and 19.9 inches long.

We chose the name Eden because this little girl is our own slice of paradise and Eliot after T.S., who is my very favorite poet. I’ve had the name in mind since around the same time I met Mark, when I was 15 years old.

The first couple weeks have been blissful and so full of love and also overwhelming at times. There have been so many moments when I start longing to be past this phase of middle-of-the-night-feedings and never-sleeping-for-longer-than-two-hour-stretches. Draining doesn’t begin to describe it. (At first I felt guilty for feeling that way too, but I’m pretty sure it’s perfectly normal!) But then I look at her little face and her tiny little toes and my heart is so full it could burst. And then there’s the feeling I get when I watch her daddy holding her. I’m so full of love for him too, and so grateful that I have such a wonderful partner to share this experience with. I’m a lucky mama indeed!

Anyway, I’m trying to find time for some blogging here and there (and hope to share our birth story soon), but for now you can also follow along on Instagram.


Photos: Stephanie Todaro

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Skyping with the Baby


Mark and I refer to ultrasounds as Skyping with the baby. That’s pretty much what it’s like when you think of it—getting to video chat with little Baby Saul from inside my belly! We had our 20-week Skype sesh this week, and everything looked healthy and just like it should look. (At 16 weeks, we only got to hear the heartbeat, which was more like a regular old phone call.)

They also confirmed the sex, which they were only mostly sure of at our previous visit… Continue reading

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