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Catch up, catsup

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While I think that “dealing with a brand-new human during her first seven months of living” is a pretty good excuse for dropping off the face of the blog-earth, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss visiting and adding new thoughts to this space. So…I’m back! And here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • The aforementioned brand-new human. She is incomprehensibly enormous to me, even though she’s holding steady in her 50th percentiles for height and weight. She’s never really been interested in practicing sitting, always preferring to stand– even when she was less than four months old. This has meant plenty of arm work for me and GP, and plenty of exersaucer time for the little lady. She’s started eating food, like people! So far I’ve made everything she’s consumed (aside from rice cereal), and she especially loves sweet potatoes, avocados, and apples. The jury is still out on carrots, peas, and broccoli, but she’s willing to take them if they’re mixed with her favorites. We made our first trip out to the in-laws/extended family in NY and NJ in early June, and she was an absolute DREAM on the flight out– it turns out everyone is your friend when you have a happy baby on a plane. She was duly doted upon during our visit, and even has her own Mileage Plus account. (Though United seems to be continually wearing out their welcome with us. Seriously, United, get it together.) There’s more I could share, of course, but I’m trying to make this re-entry post a pretty brief one. Here, be satisfied with a picture of her boldly mixing patterns:

Stripes and polka dots? BOLD.

  • I’ve been back at work for almost three months, though of course it feels like more. At various points during my maternity leave, I was really worried that I would hate returning to work, and that I’d get nothing done, but I have to confess that I feel like a better parent since I’ve been back. We absolutely love our daycare (run by my brother’s girlfriend’s mom, who is the sweetest), and both GP and I each have a “solo day” with her during the week, so I feel like I am able to be more patient and focused during the time I’m with her– without being frantic about the time she’s at daycare.
  • Between maternity leave and that whole restricted screen time for infants, my media consumption has been all over the place. I polished off a couple series while I was on leave, and am now forced into “appointment” television– thank baby Jesus for the DVR. I’ve been reading less fiction recently, but keep renewing my library books in the hopes that proximity will spur me into action.

Happy summer, friends! I’ve missed you.


A quick goodbye to 2012

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Oh, 2012, you kicked my ass. Maybe it was just these last three months in particular (because it’s never all bad, is it?), but I won’t be sad to see you go. Tonight I will enjoy the company of my husband, friends, and plenty of champagne as we bid good riddance to this year in one of my favorite places. (That’s the view from our bedroom– not too shabby, right?) A good friends reminded me not to challenge the universe, but I have to say that I feel like 2013 has to be better. Happy new year to all of you– may you all enjoy a year full of love and joy and adventure.

What’s making me happy this week

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One of my favorite podcasts (that makes me happy just about every week), ends with this segment every time, and I think it’s a nice cherry-on-top-of-your-Friday to be able to reflect on the things that got you through the preceding week. Here are mine– leave yours in the comments!

  • Eating like a human after a vacation spent largely in amusement parks. While there was a delicious Greek meal in Niagara Falls, as well as a wonderful stop at a bistro in Toronto, most of our eating was comprised of food-themed products as opposed to Actual Food. Yes, I like Chick-Fil-A (despite having pretty strong political differences with them), but this lady can only take so much Fried.
  •  Ripening fruit in our yard. Right now, we’ve got some apricots, plums, figs, and the ever-present lemons. There’s also a mystery fruit tree about halfway down our driveway– I’ll have to post a picture, because I haven’t a clue what’s growing on it.
  • Caving in and finally paying for an app on my phone: Plants vs. Zombies. I was morally against paying for apps in the beginning (lo those many two months ago), but I have a problem, and its name is Plants vs. Zombies. Basically, $2.99 = hours and hours of enjoyment. WORTH IT.
  • A couple new Baggu bags that came with a Birchbox purchase (a new brush, Klorane dry shampoo, and Avene face wash, if you’re curious). Baggu was the first type of reusable bag that I owned, and they hold up so well. When Birchbox announced that they would be including them in all $60+ orders, I couldn’t resist. I’m not made of stone, y’all.
  • Brave comes out today! I am trying to temper my excitement, as I don’t expect this to be quite as transcendent as and of the Toy Story movies, but I can’t help but feel eager about Pixar’s latest. Because we are elderlydon’t like paying a lot to see movies are relatively early risers on the weekends, we’ll probably end up seeing it Saturday or Sunday morning. Movie theater popcorn is a healthy breakfast, right? Whole grains and all.

Summer ahoy!

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One of my recently-adopted podcasts (and new obsessions) is the Joy the Baker Podcast– I love it because Joy the Baker and Tracy from Shutterbean talk to each other in exactly the same way that my friends and I talk to each other, only with a few more “abbrevs” (dude, watch Happy Endings, it is wonderful). At any rate, something raised in one of their recent episodes was the Summer Bucket List. While I cannot bear to call it a “bucket list,” as something about the word “bucket” does not sit right with me, I am all about creating one. And so, in celebration of this first actual day of summer, here’s mine (some items are more vague than others, but I think they’ll figure themselves out):

Go to the beach at least twice (and avoid getting sunburned)
Funnel cake and/or garlic fries on the Boardwalk
Maxi skirts and dresses (I don’t wear shorts, so these are basically as breezy as my summer attire gets)
Summer Pops concerts at SJSU (free music, yay!)
Picnic in the Rose Garden (such a short walk from home!)
Braids for-ev-er
San Jose Giants games (cheaper than a movie)
Make jam, pickles, popsicles (we have some fruit ripening in our yard– has anyone ever pickled an apricot?)
Olympics! No lie, I love the Olympics.
Gone with the Wind (Hello, I still haven’t read this. I’m sorry.)
Bike rides

You don’t have to call it a bucket list, either, but tell me– what will you be up to this summer?

Post-vacation ennui

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We just returned (well, last week) from our only strictly-vacation of the summer (we have a wedding to attend in August, but GP is a best man, so there’s something planned other than simply hanging out). I’ve managed to upload the pictures from my phone (yes, I took an actual camera, but the ennui! It is powerful), and you can see them here. I’ll be back with the fancier-camera pictures, a medium-sized recap, and maybe some links to GP’s trip reports. We visited four amusement parks in six days; never let it be said that I am not a good sport. (He did humor me by letting me drag him around a museum, of course.)


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Recently, things ’round these parts have been…

…sleepy. Mostly because of this guy, who still hasn’t quite figured out that, in this family, we sleep all night. (And remember to go to the bathroom outside, but one thing at a time, right?)

His full name is Samuel Reginald Sarkisian, but usually he is "puppy." Either that or "leave the cat alone!"

social. We’re attempting to get Sir Puppington used to being around people that aren’t us (he does enough growling/barking at GP as it is, so we need some socialization STAT), plus there have been various out-of-towners to  entertain for the last couple weeks. Remember downtime? Me neither.

cultured. Both low and, well…medium? In the last month, I’ve been to a concert, a handful of hockey games (including the playoffs, holla! But don’t get too excited, because this series is a nailbiter for Los Tiburones), and a musical.

Look, it's not like it was the opera or anything. There were numerous fart jokes. Still, THE THEAT-AAAHH! (Which is how I pronounced it all night long. Sorry, GP.)

pretty. I finally caved (to…myself? Is that a thing?) and signed up for Birchbox, which has brought me a new scent to try (probably not a keeper, but pleasant enough to use up the sample), eyeshadows to practice my rarely-used “smoky” skills, and a couple natural face-related products. Oh, and this hair oil! That I am already obsessed with, even though there’s no way I can justify a full-priced bottle (yes, even with free shipping).

industrious. You know how sometimes all the projects you’re a part of at work are super-busy at once? Yeah, that. Spreadsheets, mail merges, and paper-cuts for days.

Friday Five

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End-of-week randomness? You’ve got it!

I have been eating grapefruit segments over plain Greek yogurt, topped with chopped roasted almonds, all week. Grapefruit is something that I could have sworn I didn’t like– “I only like grapefruit-flavored things,” I’d say– but wouldn’t you know it, I dutifully segmented a juicy ruby-red on Monday and haven’t looked back since. I have very few food aversions, so I’m happy to have checked this one off the (pretty short) list.


I am having what Rachel Zoe would call “an orange moment.” I bought Essie’s Orange, It’s Obvious and Revlon’s Orange Flip lipstick (a Cupcakes and Cashmere favorite, and I am nothing if not highly suggestible), and have decided on orange as my “base-bright” for the spring (and summer? Probably). It’s been alternating between pouring and drizzling outside for the last few days, and this orange manicure is basically the only thing keeping me from rocking myself and whimpering softly in a corner.


My grandma recently acquired her first computer! This is a big deal, because now she has email and I can feel better about not calling her that frequently (I call her! Just…not frequently). In true Grandma fashion, her email handle is [Grandpa’s name][Uncle’s name]@domain dot com. Yes, she has two other children. No, I have no idea why they’re not included in her email address. Maybe gender uniformity? Please tell me hilarious stories of your parents and grandparents on the internet, like these.


I am thisclose to being done with 1Q84, which I have checked out in both hardcover (pages 1-635, then had to return it) and Kindle formats (pages 636 to end). I like its brand of magical realism, could do with less plentiful descriptions of breasts (is this a Murakami thing? I hope not), but would ultimately recommend. Has anyone else read it? What should I read next?


We’ll be spending the weekend braving forecasted rain in southern California, testing the resiliency of our bodies on roller coasters at Magic Mountain. Because we are nerdy enough to be (LITERAL) card-carrying members of an actual roller coaster enthusiast organization, we’ll be able to ride them until…well, until we just plain can’t take it anymore.