a new contributor

May
2012
24

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We have a new contributor on a sprouting acorn, allow me to introduce Andrea Rangno of the OC ‘Burbs.

I wanted to bring in a contributor because I wanted other perspectives on our blog…I figured you guys were getting bored with just me blabbing away. I also really love Andrea’s blog and I thought she’d be a great addition! Thankfully she agreed!

Andrea and I met in high school. We became friends about a year ago. There’s a difference. Back in high school, Andrea and I ran in different circles and as far as I was concerned, we had two things in common: our names and our genders. That was it. We didn’t really pay attention to each other.

One day we were in our English class, taught by Mr. Barnes, this weird but sort of fun teacher that looked like David Arquette. Andrea was probably making some poignant remarks about the assigned reading and for whatever reason, it irritated me, so I said, “Andrea, could you please just shut up.” Super rude, and not cool. Mr. Barnes didn’t say a thing and Andrea, in fact, did shut up, so I felt justified. Then Andrea did something uncharacteristic of a 16 year old girl–she was mature. She approached me privately after class and said, “Andrea, I felt really humiliated by the way you spoke to me in front of our entire class.” I was rendered so speechless by what she said. How did I react faced with her maturity? I rolled my eyes and walked away. Super lame.

High school ended. College began. We never spoke. Andrea and Erik had Noah sometime while I was still in college. I spied her pictures on MySpace, because you could do that on MySpace. Then everyone switched over to Facebook. Damn, I couldn’t spy anymore. Does this mean I’ll have to friend her? Shoot. Ok, friend her.

So I send her a friend request on Facebook with a note that went something like this:

Hey Andrea, I’m sorry for that super lame thing I said in Mr. Barnes’ class a million years ago. Your son is really cute. I’m glad your life has turned out as well as it has. I’m really happy for you. I hope we can be friends now. blah blah blah, warm fuzzy comments. 

She responded with something like:

Hey Andrea, If I remember correctly, I deserved what you said. Thank you for the sweet words about Noah, life is pretty awesome. blah blah blah, sweet words.

Then Andrea and Erik did something really awesome and they had Eva. I was in Rangno cuteness heaven all over my news feed. Have you seen these kids? They’re ridiculous.

So we remained facebook friends, until I got pregnant, then we started to be real friends. Andrea was really supportive of me, even when I told her that I might steal Noah’s name for my own son. She came to visit me 5 weeks after Gabriel was born and even brought her kids with her. I told Noah that Gabriel just didn’t look like a Noah, but he looked more like a Gabriel, so we named him that instead. Turned out that Gabriel was a top contender for Noah too! Weird, right?

Andrea has become the kind of friend who will drive to Los Angeles at 1am from Orange County to bring you a tiered cupcake platter for your son’s birthday party the next day and LIE to you about it so that you don’t feel bad. She has become the kind of friend that will send you boxes upon boxes of her most beloved hand me downs with a story about each super soft cotton t-shirt just because.

We send each other text messages, we attend each other’s kid’s birthday parties and we just genuinely like each other these days. Our husbands are fond of each other and while I can’t speak for Noah and Eva, Gabriel definitely thinks they’re super cool!

I’m really glad that she and I are friends now and that we got over the stupidity of being 16. She could’ve easily told me to bugger off, but she didn’t.

Welcome to a sprouting acorn Andrea! We’re super glad to have you and I know our readers will enjoy reading your words. Look out for Andrea Rangno’s posts here and if you haven’t already, please check out her blog, OC ‘Burbs.

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do, make | 7 comments

My friend, former roommate, and crafting goddess, Alexis of A Payne to Make came over one evening to help me with a little DIY project for my friend’s British-themed baby shower.

We decided to make freezer paper stenciled onesies.

Supplies:

Onesies (or whatever you want to stencil onto)
Freezer Paper
Fabric paint
printouts of whatever you want to stencil
cardboard scraps
x acto knife
pencil
sponge brushes
iron

The last step, let the paint dry for 48 hours, then iron it again to set the paint.

This was a super fun project which yielded really fantastic results. Thank you Alexis for helping me out on a school night!

I can’t wait to see the little man wearing these shirts one day!

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Have you ever checked out the blog, French By Design? It is a really inspiring stylish blog. It’s a pretty good one. Today’s Tuesday Etsy Spotlight is the store run by the same woman that runs that blog. She scours around to find vintage pieces that fit a sort of minimalist meets South of France aesthetic–such a good look, in my opinion.

Here are some of my favorite items from the store:

a vintage American flag, with 48 stars! That’s pretty cool. I’d want it in our dining room. We have a little vintage thing happening in there these days.

I love those chairs, although what I’m really searching for is a vintage school desk for Gabriel’s room. The kinds that have the attached tables and the cubbies for your books.

She has lots more fun stuff in her store, I hope you check it out here.

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a trip to LACMA

May
2012
21

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do, wear | No comments

Remember this post, when Gabriel was an infant, and we took him to LACMA to see the Tim Burton show for his very first museum visit? No? Yeah, you probably don’t remember because it was my very first post and the site wasn’t public yet!

LACMA is really close to our house, walking distance, in fact. We sometimes spend afternoons sitting on the grass, reading books and just hanging out. It is one of my favorite things about Los Angeles–truth. Cool off topic fact about LACMA, when they were expanding it and digging around to build the underground parking lot, they discovered tons and tons of artifacts, including a sabertoothed cat, her 6 kittens and a mammoth (reason being that LACMA is right next door to the La Brea Tar Pits). How amazing is that? Read more about it in this article.

Anyway, we decided to take Gabriel to see Chris Burden’s Metropolis II. I’m actually hesitant to post any pictures of it because photos don’t do it justice. It. is. really. really. really. cool. If you don’t know about it, it is a kinetic sculpture that is representative of a modern city metropolis, with busy freeways and hundreds of little cars moving super fast, public transportation and massive buildings. Here’s a little video, which like I said, doesn’t do it justice.

Gabriel was REALLY into it. He stood and stared at the little cars racing around and just kept pointing at it. He loved it and so did we. I recommend arriving just a few minutes before the scheduled time, to see the sculpture without any cars, then watching the magic unfold once they turn it on. It’s so neat. More information on the schedule and the work here.

Are you digging Gabriel’s cool kicks? I love them! Little converse with soft soles, perfect for a little toddler and designed by a dad to stay on little feet! Pick some up for your little guys and gals at our new favorite store, Sammy and Claire, click here.) We also got Gabriel’s sweatshirt in this post from Sammy and Claire

Another piece that we/Gabriel really loved was the Alight Anew in Indian Yellow by contemporary Latin American artist Jesus Rafael Soto (someone I studied intensely in college as an Art History major–nerd fact).

If you’ve got a little one, under the age of 17, you can get them a NexGen membership for FREE that will get one adult in free with each kid among other benefits! Neat right?

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I gotta be honest, the week started really sour.

Mother’s day morning was not so great. Gabriel kept me awake virtually all night, and was up and ready to start the day at 5:30am (let’s just blame it all on the one who can’t defend himself). But by the evening, Aidan actually saved the day by giving me an ultra sweet card, new little mixing bowls to match my cake stand, a wire basket, shortbread cookies, and a new Marc Jacobs romper that I was eyeing the day before at Bloomingdales. He also left at some point and brought home a feast of crab and shrimp. I talked to my little sister and she wisely said, “life is always just a little better with new clothes and sugar.”

I have to admit, she’s totally right.

Have a fun filled weekend! We’re going to go and see Chris Burden’s Metropolis II at LACMA tomorrow. Gabriel might just FREAK!

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a safe sunscreen

May
2012
17

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do | No comments

Pretty confusing: let your kids play outdoors, vitamin D is good for you, too much sun can cause cancer, use sunscreen, sunscreen is full of harmful chemicals. As with most things, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. It can get really overwhelming really fast.

I personally don’t use sunscreen daily and when I do use it, I use “safer” sunscreen. I rely more so on actual blockers, like wearing hats or thin long sleeved shirts. Gabriel on the other hand, refuses to wear anything on his head. On the one hand, I love it, his little head has become more and more blonde and his skin is becoming an enviable tan–I know, it’s super cute, but also probably not so good for him.

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) has released the 2012 list of better sunscreens for kids (and for you). Check out the list here along with a list of the worsts and why they’re harmful. Other articles that talk about the truths about regular sunscreen here and here.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I hear REALLY fantastic things about Josie Maran’s sunblock. I plan on grabbing a tube for myself (and Aidan’s nose) this week.

Summer kicks off in just a few days, and it’s beyond exciting!

 

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a snack time

May
2012
16

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do, eat | No comments

I read the book Bringing Up Bebe a few months ago and thought it was a pretty fun and interesting read. A lot of the tips in it were intuitive, as many parenting books tend to be, but it was still helpful to read it in print. One of the things the author mentions is “snack time” and how American kids tend to get snacks all the time, especially to basically shut them up.

I’m TOTALLY guilty of that, but mostly just in the car. Gabriel has ALWAYS hated being confined to his car seat, and he will scream bloody murder in the car, so I’ve taken to the habit of giving him raisins in the car. I buy raisins in bulk, add in some dried cranberries and mix it all up in a ziplock bag and keep it in the car and whenever he starts to wail, I just take his snack cup and fill it up. It’s awful. I’m always nervous that he will choke on one and I’ll have to make some crazy move on the freeway, but honestly, I have no idea how to keep him quiet so I can drive safely/sanely.

Anyway, Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bebe, writes that French kids only get food four times a day, breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. Snack time is usually around 4pm. When we stay close to home, we’re pretty good about keeping that schedule. I mean, it makes perfect sense to me.I particularly liked snack time on this day because the colors were so pretty. I try to make sure his foods have lots of different colors, firstly because it’s fun to look at, and also, typically, if your food has a lot of color, it tends to indicate that it’s good for you.

Beige food=boring & not so good.

If anyone has any suggestions about figuring out how to solve my car ride problems, short of noise canceling headphones or playing a constant loop of elmo song, I’d really love to hear it.

Check out another thing I learned in that book, here. And a car ride playlist I created, here that doesn’t help with him screaming, but whatever.

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Today’s Tuesday Etsy Spotlight is Bitezzz, a sleeping bag store hailing from Palmdale, Ca. Inspired by her daughter’s obsession with animals, Ashley Sullivan created these hilarious sleeping bags.

I love the cow one the most, but the others are also incredible!!

How fun would these be at a sleepover! Or if your kids go camping!

I hope you check out her store!!

 

And don’t forget to “like” Sammy & Claire’s facebook page to get a chance to win $100 for the store!

 

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a time article

May
2012
14

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do | No comments

Are you mom enough?

This has obviously been making the rounds. I posted this on a mommy group that I belong to and gave my two cents, which are:

1. Who cares if this woman chooses to nurse her child beyond the age that society deems as socially acceptable?

2. Shame on you TIME magazine, for pitting moms against each other by asking, “are you mom enough” and also by using an obviously provocative (in the sense that it is intending to provoke, not that it’s sexual) image during a time when women who choose to breastfeed are trying to find an avenue to make it more socially acceptable. Totes lame.

Some of the mommies in this mommy group shared some opinions about it, on both sides, (sort of). I’m toootally exploiting them, but I thought their opinions were interesting and observations quite astute!

I think it causes a big stink because people express opinions on breast feeding and then pressure women to do it to and to do it their way, like when a famous woman said that not breastfeeding should be illegal. It is just one more thing that society pressures women about. Society loves to argue about personal opinions! We should be loving and supportive of one another, always!

What it boils down to is that all it did was push moms further away from each other. A breast feeding mom is not any better than a bottle feeding mom. It’s hard enough as it is to raise kids in this crappy world, why add more fuel to the fire? Why not help make raising kids easier by not judging each other.

I think they’re making a big stink because 1. he’s 3 and 2. she nurses in public. I nursed both my children, in private, and don’t understand why this 3 year old boy is still being nursed and don’t want to see it either. I think it’s a personal choice and needs to stay private.

Alright, yes, clearly this woman has taken breast feeding to the extreme — it’s pretty obvious that her decision to continue has more to do with her than it does her kid. But who among us doesn’t sometimes have a hard time letting go of these small comforts, rituals, bonding exercises..? I know I do — my daughter is two and a half and I can’t bring myself to take away her binky, even though she clearly stopped needing it a long time ago. I think when people start using language like “that’s disgusting” or “I don’t want to see that in public” it creates a culture of shame for mothers,and never in a million years will you catch me participating in that. To each their own, forever and ever, amen :)

As a mother of 3 (I’m currently breastfeeding 1) I say that if people can bottle feed in public we can breastfeed in public. I personally do it in private or with my cover on, but there have been times when I forget my cover and if my baby gets hungry I feed her without it. Breasts were made for breastfeeding it’s too bad that our culture has sexualized them and taken the focus away from their intended purpose.

I nurse my three year old and its ALL about him. MANY moms do not choose to nurse because they want to. I tried to wean twice when I was pregnant with #2. I was so sick of my sore breasts, his constant wanting, groping, etc. right now he still ‘needs’ me to nurse him.

its not extreme. its normal. its a choice.

and another mom, responded with this article, which I loved!

Happy Mother’s Day yesterday!! And apologies for the ten day hiatus!! We’re back!

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get, wear | 5 comments

We had to take a few family pictures yesterday, for a little project we’re doing. I wanted to share them with you, because I love them so, but also because I wanted to show off Gabriel’s awesome sweatshirt.



Gabriel’s sweatshirt was a gift from a brand new store, just launched yesterday in fact! Sammy and Claire carries high-end luxury brands that are also socially responsible and eco friendly…and their buyers have an amazing eye–all their kids’s clothes are mega stylish! Love!! Find Gabriel’s adorable Stella McCartney sweatshirt here.

To celebrate their launch, Sammy and Claire are hosting a contest and giving away $100 to one lucky fan in the month of May! Visit their Facebook page here and make sure you “like” them to enter the contest! The winner will be chosen at random on May 15.

photographs by Martine.

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