my thoughts on SB 277

 

My heart is super heavy today… It’s a sad day for a lot of parents here in California. SB 277 was signed into law, which means any school age child going to private school, public school, day care, home daycare or whatever must have vaccines by July 1, 2016. I’m in shock… How did this happen? The land of the free. Well, not anymore. Parents no longer have the choice to opt out of vaccines for their children if they are attending school…

It’s not that I am 100% anti vaccines, if you want to do it, do it. But we shouldn’t be forced to. Mila received a few when she was a baby because we told it was the best decision by our pediatrician. Right after Mila became super sensitive to sound.. After taking to our own researched we decided to opted out of anymore. I wish I was more educated from the beginning and saved her from having any. As new young parents we tend to trust our doctors, but the truth is we need to trust ourselves. We need to do our own research, and we need to demand a list of ingredients for anything that goes into our child’s bodies. I remember asking our old pediatrician for a list of ingredients to a vaccine she was trying to get us to give Mila and she said “We don’t have that, maybe I can google something and find it.” What? Google something? You, as a doctor are trying to inject my child with something, but you don’t even know what is in it? And you are telling us it’s 100% safe, but you don’t know what it is? ugh. We switched pediatricians, of course.

For us, this law meas homeschooling. I will not be forced into doing something that I feel is unsafe for my kids. This is a decision Matt and I made after lots and lots of research. I’m ok with homeschooling. I’m blessed to have a husband that works his ass off to make sure I get to stay home with our kids, but what about the parents who don’t have this option? What about the single parents? This law is taking away our rights as parents, and that’s heartbreaking… Parents should be able do what they believe is right.

I keep hearing the argument that the unvaccinated children are putting other children at risk… But how so? If your child is vaccinated, shouldn’t they be protected? Isn’t that the point of vaccines? If your child is vaccinated against measles, then gets measles, it’s not the unvaccinated childs fault. It’s the vaccines fault.

When I was a child there we 10 recommend vaccines by the age 6, now there are 36 recommended vaccines by the age 6… This is crazy. You don’t need all 36 to got to school, but you are required to have 1)Diphtheria (2) Haemophilus influenzae type b (3) Measles (4) Mumps (5) Pertussis (whooping cough) (6) Poliomyelitis (7) Rubella (8) Tetanus (9) Hepatitis B (10) Varicella (chickenpox) (11) Any other disease deemed appropriate by the state Department of Public Health, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. You can get medical exemption from your doctor if they see fit, but personal or religious beliefs no longer mean anything.

I’m upset. I know someone personally who lost her son right after his 6 month vaccines, will she now be forced to vaccinate her new baby?

We are the protectors of our children. We are the ones who need to be educated. We are the ones who need to be on the look out. We need to do what we feel is right.

Educate yourself and make an educated decision, whether you vaccinate or not, the choice is yours. Don’t be bullied into anything you are uncomfortable with. Unfortunately,  bulling seems to be the business.

I heard It’s April

 

My house is currently quiet.  Both kids are down for a nap at the same time, which is rare these days. I’ve been playing catch up on emails, finalizing orders and working on wedding prep all at the same time. My mind is all over the place as Matt and I will be getting married in 22 days.  Honestly, I’m feeling surprisingly relaxed about it all, even though I know there is still tons to get done.  I am so happy with the progress we have made so far, and so blessed to have the help I do.  Matt and I both have a great group of friends that have been helping with so many different things. I really do have to take a step back to just feel the love. Thank you, you guys! Truly. You know who you are.
It’s been busy, so my alone/down time is few and far between, but it only makes me enjoy these little breaks so much more. Today we started our day off with taking the kids on a hike. It was such needed family time that I had been “too busy” for the last week and the perfect break before running errands and getting back to business.
It’s also been hard finding time to update this little space, but I wanted to thank everyone who keeps checking back with me. Some days I am totally surprised at the number of views this little blog gets, so also a big thank you to everyone who keeps me in mind.

I’m brewing up new ideas, and working on new projects that I can’t wait to share!
Stay posted! Happy April everyone, Happy Easter and Happy long weekend!

xo
Anna

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some stuff about me…

 

I was recently talking to my sisters about my blog, about why I’m doing it and what I am trying to achieve with it.  I was telling them a few ideas I have and to be honest, I was trying to steal a few ideas from them.  Getting out of my own head and saying things out loud is always very helpful for me, especially when I’m saying those things to adults that I enjoy being around. While we were talking they both agreed on a few things.  Number one was that I should write more and number two was that I am a lot more mean than this blog makes me seem, but I don’t know if I agree with that. They’re both idiots anyway.

Write more. Write my words, with my voice.  From the beginning this has alway been a goal of mine, to write about the real stuff, things that matter to me, things that bother me, things that I learn .  I’ve journaled most of my life, but find it harder to put stuff up on my blog. You’re always your worst critict. So, I’m going to strive to do that. Really, I know it all comes down to time management.  I need to set more time aside for myself to get my thoughts and ideas down.  It gets hard, it gets busy, and I get lazy.  Being a mom takes it out of me, I’m trying to work on my teeny tiny small business, I’d like to have some type of social life and I’m trying to start tackling our wedding  plans.  It’s all a balancing act. Everyday. I’m still learning as I go.

So, now I’m taking a time out to write, and kind of  introduce myself I guess. Hi. I’m Anna and I’m 29. 29. I’ve been really hanging on to this last year of my 20’s. I’m not quite ready to let go. Birthdays have never bothered me in the past, but this year has me a bit freaked out. I know a lot of it has to do with the grey hairs (yes, already) I’ve seen popping up, but most of it probably has to with some unrealistic idea I have about what being “in your thirties” is like. Come August I’m in that group and I have decided the only option I have is to embrace it.  I’m going to love my 30’s and  I’m hoping that my 30’s will love me back and allow me a little more “me time.”

I’m very giving of my time right now with my children. They are still young and they need me. They also love me a lot right now. They both always want Mommy and I am with them most of the time. I know as they get older I’m not going to be needed as much. I’m not going to be #1 on their lists forever so I am embracing it now.  I remember this old C.S. Lewis quote that goes “Children are not a distraction from more important work.  They are the most important work.”  I read that many, many years ago and it always stuck with me.  I believe it 100%.  (My mom will be happy to hear I’m quoting C.S. Lewis.)  But all in all, Mila & Uzi are my main focus right now.

Okay, I’m Anna. I’m a mom. I’m busy and almost 30. I’m also obsessed with comedy. The good kind.  I have always loved comedy and I love being around funny people. I’m sure my love of comedy started so young because that was the way my sisters, brothers and I chose to deal with hard and sad things from childhood, and that’s ok.  We all know laughter is medicine, and that’s how we coped.  I have siblings that are a good 11 and 10 years older than me, so the funny stuff they were into at a young age trickled down to us little girls. We grew up on Bill Murray and Steve Martin. Back when ‘It’s Pat’ and “Toonces the driving Cat” was on SNL.  The good stuff.  I also love reading books by comedians.  I’m a little fascinated with funny (or who I think are funny) people in general.

I’m Anna, I’m a mom, I’m busy, I love comedy and recently I’ve really become intrigued with living a “simple life.” I know, it really sounds so silly. Today my 14 year old niece and I were playing the “what would you do with 2 million dollars game?” It’s her favorite question to ask people and she was so baffled that I didn’t want new “gadgets” or a new car.  I told her all I would really want is first to travel, then to have  land, animals, and an amazing garden. Pre-children Anna would have never answered that way, but now it’s 100% true. I long to raise my kids outside, growing our own food and having adventures in a beautiful and natural setting.  I feel pretty lucky that we get to do a small version of this already in the city, and I’m proud that my children already know how to wrangle chickens and properly pull carrots.  But one day, maybe even 10 years from now I do hope to have a home out of the city.

This world is so busy, and it’s so easy to get swept up into nonsense, which is a huge reason why I started making my Sylvie James products… We all need a break, a break from work, a break from nonsense. We all need to relax and I wanted to make a natural version of bath products to make sure YOU, dear reader, can do so.  An evening bath with a candle and some bath salts can melt away the toughest of two year old tantrums.  I know this first hand.  I think sometime I like to play the martyr, “I’m so tired. I don’t even have time to shower.” But really, if I get with it, and take a little time out for myself, everyone is happier.  Because when Mommy is happy, we are all happy (right, Matt?)

 I wanted to thank everyone that looks at this here blog. I look forward to sitting down and writing more on this little space.  Quite possibly some meaner posts about a few sisters I have, or maybe just some good old fashion rambling.  Feedback, questions and recommendations are always welcome!       xo

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The Rollercoaster ride

 

I heard this song today and it brought me back to such a specific time in my life. A younger time that seems so close and so far away all at the same time. It’s funny how songs and scents can trigger such vivid memories.
I also remembered how much I use to listen to Belle & Sebastian. So great

Quicksilver

 

I feel pretty blessed to live close to so many beautiful places. One goal I have for this year is to take advantage of those places. I have a huge desire to raise my kids in nature as much as possible. They are getting bigger and ready for adventure. So, the other morning we had breakfast, packed some snacks and headed out on a family hike. It was such a great way to start our day. Mila and Uzi both killed it. They were such good little troopers. Mila lead the way for us most of the hike. I packed the Ergo carrier for Uzi in case of meltdown, but we didn’t end up using it, only a few tears. We all came home hungry and ready for nap time. Tiring Uzi out with physical activity is the key to a peaceful home for us. He’s a wild one and running around outside is kind of his thing. I’m looking forward to more time out in the wild with these guys.

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two paths

 

This is the year I turn 30. I’ve only got about a 6 months left of my 20’s. Turning a year older has never really freaked me out before, but this year is a big one. I’m a little nervous. I know the only choice I have is to embrace, so will. Fighting it is pointless. But I would be lying if I said I haven’t been thinking about it a little more than I should.
I wish I found a clip of good ol’ Liz Lemon, but this gif helps.
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My son’s name is Uzi

 

Recently I was out running errands, it was just Uzi and I. We were waiting in line to check out at Trader Joe’s, standing behind two older women.  Uzi looked over at a small bag of chocolate peanut butter cups and said “Mommy, get treat?” I respond with “No, Uzi. We need to go home and have some lunch.”  He is always on his best behavior when it’s just the two of us, so he said “Ok, Mommy, eat wunch first.” Come on! The sweetest of responses from one of the worlds most rascally of little boys.
One of the ladies in front of us turned around and said how sweet he was “and Uzi? Did you call him Uzi? That’s a cute. We use to call my son Buggy. What’s his real name?”
“It’s Uzi” I replied.
“Oh.” she said with her eyebrows high. “That’s……. Interesting.”
Then she turned and whispered something to the lady she was with and they both turned back and stared at us.

At first I kind of wanted to trip her, then I remembered how many times I have been questioned about his name. AND I’ve had this response before. When my grandfather met Uzi for the first time he said the same exact thing. “Whats his real name?”
I realized this shouldn’t bother me, I know he has a different name, and I love that.
I have been asked about it so much now that it made me want to write about it.

The first time I heard the name Uzi was from the movie The Royal Tenenbaums (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a MUST SEE.)  Back then I didn’t know an Uzi was a gun.  One of the two adorable little boys in the movie is named Uzi.  I was only 14 years old when I first saw this movie, and even then I just fell in love with it.  I looked into the meaning of the name, and loved it even more. It’s Hebrew and means ‘my strength,’ ‘to be strong’ or “strength of the Lord.’

While I was pregnant with my boy I never thought that this is what we would name him. Actually, one of the only names Matt and I could agree on was Julien. But for some reason once we finally met our son we knew it just wasn’t HIS name (although I still really love the name Julien.) After a day of having no name, we named him Uzi. It just worked.

Yes, of course at the time we were naming him I now knew that an Uzi was a gun, but that’s not what we named him after. He is my strength. He is Matt’s strength too. He is strong, in every way.  Uzi James. I know that what we named him is perfect, and I have never looked back. James was my fathers name, who passed away when I was 6. It’s also Matt’s middle name, which he got from his uncle. So he also has a strong middle name with lots of family history.
Naming your kids is hard. Who knows if they will love their names when they are older? But that is a risk EYERY PARENT takes while naming their children.

Actually, Mila  wasn’t a name we had ever discussed either. Not once did we talk about naming our daughter Mila while I was pregnant with her. But, as soon as she was born Matt said it, and I knew he was right. Mila Sylvie. (Mila is a Russian name that means ‘dear one’ and Slavic for ‘hardworking.’) My sister Ruth came up with Sylvie which means ‘forest.’ It’s funny how after brain storming names for months and months we didn’t go with any of the ones we had previously talked about with both kids. I am so thankful for that.

I know that my son’s name might throw people off, but really it’s a beautiful name, with a great meaning. Sorry if it makes you think of a weapon, but we happen to love it. He definitely is my strength.
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Holidays, and stuff

 

It’s been pretty quite around here, and by “around here” I mean this blog. My house hasn’t been quiet. My house has been raging at full force. Family over, friends visiting, a sister staying over from out of town, dinners, children skipping naps, children with colds, holidays parties. I haven’t had much time lately to just sit, and when I have, I haven’t been wanting to use that time on the computer. (I’ve wanting to use that time to pile out, only.)
The holidays are lovely, and wonderful, and I cherish them, but the holidays can also be a pain in the ass sometimes. Meaning, I do look forward to things mellowing out and getting a little more back to normal around here, whatever that means.
We had a great Christmas, we spent time with both side of the family and the kids had a great time. They got spoiled for sure.
I got to have some much needed adult time with my sisters, the “littlest” was in town from Portland and I am very thankful for that.
I’m looking forward to getting back to blogging, and playing catch up. I am hoping to make some changes with the new year and I am excited to share them.

So, here are a few shots from over the holiday stretch.. photo 2
Mommy & Daddy getting jazzed up to play Santa.

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Scraggly Christmas morning with my crew.

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Mila and her “surprise stocking.”

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My side of the family, well, most of them.

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A pair of sleepy kids I know.

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Some gifts for Mommy. I’m stoked.

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Our best buddy Ian reading the monkeys a night time story.

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Tata Ellie, on a coffee break.

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Uzi in his zone, sharing a veggie egg roll.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and will have a fun and safe New Year!
I am looking forward to 2015, what about you?

Holiday Gift Ideas for Tiny Humans

 

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Here are a few gift ideas for any tiny person in your life. My kids are 2 and 4, so most of these are preschool aged.

1) Tiny Kitchen. Pretend play is so important, this little kitchen gets tons of use in our house.
2) Dallas Clayton Tee, super sweet. Kids always need Tee shirts.
3) Easels are great for any tiny artist.
4) Loola Loungers. Mila has a pair of these and I love them. Super comfy and totally cute, Uzi might need some too.
5) Adorable Melissa & Doug Food Cart Ice Cream/Hot dogs, or Not Dogs in our case.
6) Waiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book). Books are the best gifts! These books are great for little ones, Uzi loves them!
7) Bill Murrary Tee for your toddler, ridiculously cute.
8) Hohner Kids Percussion Blocks Noise makers are always a hit.
9) Both my kids (and every one of our small friends) love playing with tea sets. They are really such a classic. I love this wooden set by Plan Toys with tiny tea bags.
10) Gardening is fun and educational, love this Garden Root Viewer for a window garden/science project.
11) An Awesome Book of Thanks! is the sweetest book.
12) Hape Pop-Up Toaster – Play Set to keep small hands busy. Complete with Honey jar.

I hope some of these are helpful and give you some ideas for the little people you love.  I try to stay away from all the plastic stuff, kids these days really have lots of options when it comes to beautiful wooden toys.  I know around here we are behind on our Christmas shopping, but I’m not too worried yet, we will be keeping it small. Happy Holidays!

xo

Holiday Gift Ideas, adult style

 

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I put together a few holiday gift ideas for any one you love. Some gifts are more girly, but some are male friendly too.  I have a hard time figuring out mens gifts, maybe because I’m not a man.  But here a few things I have been swooning over that hopefully will be helpful with some of your last minute shopping!

1) I love this pillow. Handmade gifts are always the best.
2) I’m really big on essential oils, this Mammoth Serenity Diffuser is a great gift for any household.
3) This Fox Run Marble Board is lovely!
4) I’m a little obsessed with these Very Troubled Child notebooks, any Wes Anderson fan would probably agree.
5) This Dallas Clayton print is rad, cute for a kids room, too.
6) I still love 30 Rock, and always will. I bought my sister one of these Lucky Jackson prints for her birthday and she loved it. So much great stuff in this shop.
7) The Wes Anderson Collection, a great book for your book shelf.
8) They sell Julie Hewitt make up at The Green Room Beauty Bar if you are local, if not place an order here. I have this Cheekie in Peachie and use it every single day.
9) STUMPTOWN! Come on, this stuff is amazing. Maybe a certain little sister of mine will bring me home some from Portland. Really though, good coffee is always a good gift.
10) Stay Home Club Tee, the coolest.
11) I’ve heard wonderful things about this Pink Clay. Handcrafted and 100% Vegan. Shop small.
12) Beautiful and simple mountain tapestry. Handmade wall art, I’m into it.

I hope some of these are helpful, I like sharing cool stuff I find. Share some things you reccomend! I would love to see.

xo