August 2007

Monthly Archive

“hot flashes” debut & my literary little girl

Posted by lynn on 27 Aug 2007 | Tagged as: melina, writing

Cover of First 'Hot Flashes' Anthology Next month I have a short story, “Salt Melts Like Snow,” coming out in an anthology called Hot Flashes 2: More Sexy Little Stories & Poems. Linda and Laurie, the fantastic duo of editors, held a celebratory reading at Book Passage in Marin on Saturday evening. We had my folks lined up to babysit both Melina and Kai so that Joey and I could schmooze in peace with the other writers and enjoy some sexy little readings over a yummy array of wine, cheese, and fruit. A date night and personal literary landmark in one – fabulous!

Jelly Bean had a different idea. Two days earlier, about a week shy of her three-month birthday, she went on a bottle strike. Overnight our rockstar bottle feeder from three weeks old realized that silicone and flesh feel different, and that she most certainly prefers mommy’s nipple or no nipple at all. So instead of leaving her to scream at my parents once feeding time came, we put her in a nice summer dress and took her to her first literary event.

It was still fabulous, perhaps moreso. Everyone doted on Melina, I re-met a writer acquaintance who recently had twin boys (we discussed forming our own “writing mamas” group), and deep down I was proud to share my work with my 12-week-old daughter regardless of her not understanding a word.

For her part, Melina did just fine. Of course she pooped twiced but discreetly, and decided a quiet room full of people listening to a reading was a great time to practice her loud “aaaaaa” and “gaaaaa” sounds – but Daddy just took her for a walk or three. They both got to hear me read, and since then I’ve spent more and more time reading age-appropriate stories to little Meli. She’s enraptured by Dr. Suess (“Mr. Brown Can Moo” and “Hop On Pop”) and the classic “Good Night Moon,” among others.

Feel free to read my story here, but please also consider purchasing the anthology. Just contact me and I’ll set you up with a copy next month!

wine country with the wee one

Posted by lynn on 20 Aug 2007 | Tagged as: family, melina, travel

Family, Ferrari-Carano VineyardsBefore Melina was born I made reservations at the Irish Rose Inn, a family-friendly B&B just outside Healdsburg. Kai was going camping with his mom for the full weekend, so we figured what better time to get out of town on our own for the first time with the wee one. I was a little nervous about crying spells in such an “adult” venue but am happy to report that, outside of traffic on the way up (I also wanted to cry) and a little due to the heat, Jelly Bean was a super star!

Mommy's Girl, Ferrari-Carano

Our B&B host, Kris, adored her. “What a good baby! I like them when they get to be three months. She must be advanced.” (Yup, like all proud parents we think the same of her mere 2.5 months.) Hosts and other guests at various wineries either ignored her (haha) or kept commenting on how cute she was. We seemed to make friends with any baby or parent we met.

For her part, Melina was fascinated by the downtown Healdsburg plaza, with its huge trees, slight breeze, and rustling leaves. She also got to watch dusk fall for the first time as we dined on an outdoor terrace around 8pm.

Daddy's Girl, Healdsburg

Highlights for the adults included the spectacular grounds of Ferrai-Carano (see photos), a visit to the new Francis Ford Coppola winery called “Rosso & Bianco,” and the mellow wine caves and picnic grounds at Bella.

The topper was dinner on Saturday night. Kris got us last-minute reservations at Dry Creek Kitchen, a spectacular dining experience right on the main square. Reading w/ Daddy, Irish Rose Inn I loved the arugula salad with peaches and goat cheese, and the chocolate croissant bread pudding with Guinness ice cream (yes, as in the stout) was unbelievably perfect in texture (firm but not too dense), taste (a soft bittersweet), and portion size (small but delightfully rich). Our bill was surprisingly reasonable, as we’d been advised to bring our own bottle of Sonoma county wine for free corkage. And Melina’s slight fussing didn’t matter, since we sat outside in the midst of the town’s 150 year celebration of its founding. When she started to squirm I just picked her up and danced to the music and merriment that pervaded the plaza.

what’s in a (nick)name?

Posted by lynn on 19 Aug 2007 | Tagged as: melina

Hat Girl, 11 Weeks

My mom, whose name is Nancy, always wanted a nickname. So she named her first child (me!) Laralynn and chose Lynn as my nickname. I’ve always hated having a nickname (sorry, Mom) and especially one without an obvious foundation. (ie, Joey comes from Joseph. Lynn could just as easily be standalone, but in my case it’s not. For some reason I want people to know that, so sometimes go by Laralynn but most often by Lynn… not to be confusing or anything.)

I never intended on using a nickname for my own daughter, but as anyone with kids knows fun family names often appear spontaneously and take on lives of their own. Here’s the rundown for our little Jelly Bean.

Melina Says Hi

The official: Jelly Bean or Pumpkin Pie
The personalized: Melina Bean or Meli Belly
Standard deviations: Pumpkin Pie Spice, Little Pumpkin, or just plain Pumpkin
The mix: Jelly Bean Pie
Action-based: “Hi Smiles,” “Hi Tongue,” or Monkey as in “You’re being a fussy-monkey”
On rarer occasions Bug, Boo, or Bugaboo
And the obvious: Munchkin

On a side note, Jelly Bean’s favorite toys these days are her security blankets (we have three of Lynette’s Swaddle Designs we rotate through the wash) and her own hands. She loves to suck on both!

park party

Posted by lynn on 14 Aug 2007 | Tagged as: family, friends, kai, melina

Melina & Mama

Kai Holds His Sis

On Sunday we trekked over to the peninsula for friend Donovan’s second birthday party followed by his parents’ housewarming party.

Melina loved watching and listening to the many tree leaves rustle in the wind, and Kai had fun with a bubble machine explosion (bubble soap everywhere!) right before it was time to put on his jammies and head back to Berkeley.

picnic and a museum with portland pals

Posted by lynn on 11 Aug 2007 | Tagged as: family, friends, kai

Big Hug, Palace of Fine Arts

Last week we had another visit from out-of-staters. Kai was extra excited because his friends Joy and Linnea – flower girls to his ring bearer at our wedding – were part of the crew that also included Sarah (my friend since we were six) and her partner Kari.

Kai's Binoculars, Palace of Fine Arts

Our Portland-based pals had season passes for science museums, so we headed to SF for a visit to the Exploratorium and a picnic at the visually compelling Palace of Fine Arts, just outside the museum.

Joy, Linnea & Kai at Pin Machine

Sarah and I both had fond memories of the museum from when we were kids. Luckily, we weren’t disappointed. I don’t think many of the exhibits have changed in 25 years, and even four-year-olds Kai and Joy had a blast making hand impressions in a large bed of nails and tipping a huge tube of sand and water from head to toe.

We Want Ice Cream: Kai & Joy

After we left I realized I had missed a great opportunity to play with my camera and take some artsy fartsy shots: adobe-colored columns pushed against an atypically blue sky, and flocks of seagulls and strollers dotted the path around a small lake. We’ll have to return one day soon, as this visit was all about family time and fun with friends.

all dressed up

Posted by lynn on 11 Aug 2007 | Tagged as: melina

All Dressed Up, 9 Weeks

Pictures like this leave me wondering what happened to our tiny newborn. Melina is already starting to look so “grown up” – a real Gerber baby!

I’m also happy to report some pretty amazing sleep patterns for a 10-week-old. She’s not only sleeping through the night in technical terms (which is six hours), but for the past few nights has been down from around 7:30pm to 5am without waking to eat. After a little snack she’ll sleep another couple hours. Yippee!

living in baby time

Posted by lynn on 02 Aug 2007 | Tagged as: melina, writing

Tie Dye & a Babyhawk

Melina update: Our “little” girl had her two-month doc’s appointment this week. She’s in the 90th percentile for weight (12 pounds 10 ounces) and the 97th(!) for length (25 inches) – all numbers confirmed by my observation that she’s around the same size as most three-month-old boys in our play groups.

Little Joey Grabs Melina's Hand

Me update: When I was pregnant with Melina a woman in a writing workshop commented, “You should still have plenty of time to write after your baby’s born. Newborns sleep a lot.” This woman failed to realize that they also poop a lot, eat around the clock, play, fuss, and when they do sleep you never know whether the nap will last 20 minutes or two hours. “Me” time is sporadic and when it does happen I’m still on call.

Wyatt & Melina

My way of living in baby time is to stay active and social: walks, baby & me yoga, moms groups, and dinners with other new parents. Yesterday we spent several hours lunching in north Berkeley – four new moms with four young babies just chillin’ in the afternoon sunshine.

It Wasn't Me

I feel so fourtunate to be able to spend my summer like this, yet at times wonder why I’m not making use of this seemingly leisure time to write (a real project, not brief email or blog entries). Then Melina wakes up with her signature grunt or a huge smile, and I snap back to reality: my “free” time is just an illusion, albeit a joyful one.