I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

I love it when you email me: kristinahm {at} me {dot} com


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Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

March 17, 2011

For japan with love

For Japan with Love.

February 22, 2011

On losing the prego weight

Because I’m spending this week in my swim suit on the beach (ack!), I thought I’d do a little post on the dreaded post-pregnancy weight loss. Mostly just to give the rest of you who are still struggling with it a little moral support. It can be rough on the old ego, that’s for sure.

So before and even shortly after Dashiell was born, I was just CERTAIN that I’d be back to my normal size four months after he was born. Pre-pregnancy I wore a size 4 dress. So in planning for my bridesmaid dress last June (4 months postpartum), I figured I’d be easily into a size 6. After all, I like to exercise, and I’d be deep in breastfeeding! Yes! Breastfeeding! The miracle weight loss tactic!

(What I’d love to be wearing this spring, now that I’m almost back to normal and can begin to dream that I might wear fashionable clothes again. Vanessa Jackman, via Pretty Mommy)

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I’m convinced they tell you that breastfeeding helps you lose weight as part of secret plan to get more women to breastfeed. Which btw, I’m completely fine with. But magic cure-all for the extra LBs I was toting around – um, no. For that wedding I had to order a size 10 dress. It sucked. Not because of the size itself so much. More because of how many sizes UP it was from what I considered my “normal” size to be.

At 6 months we went on family vaycay to Yosemite, and looking at pictures when we got home was yet another depressing moment. I was still hideously fat (IMO). I gave up Stacy’s pita chips, which I think helped a little. But I also just tried to remind myself that it took me 10 months to gain 28 pounds and it would probably take about that long to lose them all again.

At 8 months, same. To be fair I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight. I was running a few days a week. Maybe going to a core class twice a month. Mostly just doing what moms do: hanging with their baby, trying to keep the house from looking like a hovel, and fitting in work here and there. And I kept telling myself that it wasn’t my job to be skinny! It was my job to take care of my baby and finally start to catch up on 6 months without sleep. In fact I looked at skinny people and thought, god, they have nothing better to do than fit into their skinny jeans! HOW SELFISH AND SHALLOW. (We tell ourselves what we can to get by, you know?)

By 9 months Dashiell was eating more food and nursing less and things actually started to change. My postpartum clothes were finally too big. My pre-baby clothes started to almost fit again. By 10 months I was feeling pretty good actually. And now, exactly one year later I’m miraculously and by no real effort on my part, 5 pounds under my pre-prego weight.

So the moral? Give yourself a break. If you’re not a Hollywood personality with a celebrity trainer and nutritionist, and especially if you’re exclusively breastfeeding, it’s going to take some time to get back to your old bod. Your body might insist on hanging on to the extra 5 pounds because it needs insurance while you continue to nurse full time. And even when you hit the number you’re looking for, your body is just going to be different. But remember to celebrate that! It was you baby’s home for almost 10 months, it supported him/her through the first year of life, and it’s a pretty amazing little temple when you think about it like that.

And while I wouldn’t recommend intermittent exercise and little attention to calorie intake as a reliable weight loss plan, it eventually worked for me. But it took 12 f-ing months. Most importantly, the entire experience has given me such a better perspective on food and exercise and just generally being more conscious of what’s important in my life right now. ie. NOT my jeans size.

So you pretty ladies out there who’ve recently had babies, set reasonable expectations for yourself! My friend Becca wrote a great, very real post about this same thing. Growing and birthing and raising a child takes a toll on your body, and in time you’ll be able to focus on yourself again.

At least a little. Maybe.

In the meantime, treat yourself to a cookie after you put the baby to bed. And if you have to choose between getting an extra hour of sleep and going on a run, sometimes the extra sleep for you is going to be far more beneficial to the entire family than burning a few hundred calories.

I still want to give away all of my clothes btw. Even though I fit into them, I do not want to wear them. I am a different person, after all! I am satisfying myself with online window shopping and reckless cart abandonment for now. You know what I’m saying.

November 16, 2010

be back shortly

All of a sudden I have all sorts of work + the impending launch of 100LC. I know you don’t believe me at this point since we’ve been talking about launching our new site for months, but it really is getting closer. And I’m really focused on that and these other projects at the moment. Which means if I was to attempt posting every day, the posts wouldn’t be particularly inspired. Can you give me a few days to get things in order? When the holiday projects start, I promise I’ll have lots of pretty things to post.

For now, how about a slightly out of focus picture of my baby?

I kind of like it anyway. The light has been so beautiful in the evenings. I shall return when I have a moment.

October 13, 2010

Something new

Hi. So, how about you all head over to my new little piece of the internet… my shiny new blog. Hooray!

I wasn’t actually intending to launch it yet. But while I was waiting for some things to be fixed I imported all my old posts, recategorized everything, and then realized that if I keep posting over here, I’ll have to go through that whole process again. Which was really more than I could take. So while it’s not 100% perfect, and I’m still waiting on a few things, let’s just forget perfection and head over there from now on. It will be fun, I promise.

And if you most loveliest readers who actually link to me wouldn’t mind, could you update your blogroll with my new URL?

Same goes for you all who use google reader and such. I think you probably have to update that as well.

Thanks for coming over!

October 6, 2010

mini break

Hi Hi. Taking a break this week from posting. We’re desperately trying to launch 100 Layer Cake‘s new site and I kind of need to focus on that at the moment. You can have this photo of Dashiell by Modern Kids Photo at the Heath Craft Bazaar to tide you over. Because I don’t have anything else to post and I obviously think it’s darling.

Pls pls understand? And come back next week.

See you then.

August 12, 2010

the XX

I never post about music. Mostly because I don’t consider myself to be someone who’s on the cutting edge of new material. I love music, but I love other people to find it for me. But the XX needs a post because I’ve been listening to their album non-stop.

Wait, maybe I will just post one of their videos. Wow! So technological of me.

Take a listen here, on their site, or their myspace page, or on itunes or amazon or wherever you like to buy your music. And buy the whole album because it’s meant to be listened to as a whole, if you ask me.

June 15, 2010

note to self

It is not best to wear one’s fanciest shoes to a cocktail party in a barn:

But see if I don’t wear them to weddings, I will never wear them at all since I rarely leave the house for occasions that require me to put on clothes that do not contain at least 80% lycra… let alone high heels. So I had to just go for it.

Do not worry. They are clean and happy in their sleeper bag again.

Still in recovery from weekend away. The wedding was beautiful, Becky’s dress was amazing. Hoping the photos are as lovely as the event. It turns out it’s a wee bit less relaxing than it used to be to go away to a hotel. Not so much time lying by the pool and taking yoga classes at the spa. But they were serving one of my favorite chardonnays at the wedding so that was quite delicious.

More soon.

June 8, 2010

on being a mother

I don’t really think of myself as a mother. I mean I AM in every sense of the word, but when I think “oh I’m not feeling like a very together person today,” it’s just that. Person, not mother (though it’s usually the result of having a baby). But I had this little epiphany last week in the yoga class I like to go with Dashiell on Thursdays. So if you would humor me for a moment, I’m going to actually write something not related to any particular picture or event or project.

(Dashiell does happy baby on his changing table. He is already an advanced baby yogi.)

This yoga class is a pre and post-natal class and I started going to it towards the end of my pregnancy, once I’d finished working. And it’s great. There’s a nice mix of pregnant mamas and women with their babies and especially towards the end of pregnancy it’s so inspiring to see the little people rolling around before your little person comes to greet you.

Class always starts with everyone saying their name, how far along they are or how old their baby is, and generally answering a question posed by a member of the class or asked by the teacher. Thursday’s question was simple… birth class: where, when, and whether you liked it. So we all went around and one of the last women to speak was Marie, who was officially due the following day.

She started to tear up a bit and I thought it might just be that her emotions were getting the better of her as she hit her due date. I remember getting a little teary at the same point. Saying “I’m due today!” and being a bit overwhelmed by what that really meant. But she starting talking, choking on her words as her tears started streaming, and she started to tell us about her birth class that she took at the hospital a few months ago and how supportive and positive all the nurses were. But that in the last two months with only her OB to consult with, she hadn’t heard anything positive. Just scary things, like she might need to be induced, that her baby was getting too big and that he was now getting too skinny and that generally things were not looking as good as they could be.

And she was so scared. And we were all scared for her. And everyone started to cry. And I realized that only now that I have my baby and I’ve been through those last few weeks when you’re so darn close to meeting him or her, but still a little freaked out that something might go wrong and uncertain about the birth, can I really understand her tears. And how terrible it must be to have your doctor telling you anything but that things are looking perfect and beautiful and that everything is going to be great. And the thing is she knows that there’s a 95% chance that everything is FINE. That her baby will come out when he’s supposed to and that she will be great and that he will be perfect and healthy. But then she has this doctor who has 40 years of experience telling her “worst case scenario” and she’s freaking out, but trying to remember that things are going to be okay.

And I was sitting there thinking what an asshole this doctor is, on one hand, but then remembering that when you’re so so close and your baby is fully cooked and ready to come, what if there is something wrong and what if he does need some help to come sooner than later? And that’s where you’re stuck, in that limbo place of wanting to make the right decision but not having any idea how to do it or what it is.

And see even though I don’t know Marie at all, I know her.

I know her because it’s in situations like this that you know all mothers and all mothers-to-be. I’ve learned that it’s a connection that is truly unlike any other. And in some way it becomes almost harder to relate to people who aren’t yet mothers. (Friends that aren’t mamas yet, I still love you to pieces I swear!).

There is nothing in this world or this life that has altered the way I think and act and feel in such a profound way. And so I came to see that I’m a mother in a most real way. That I now experience my life in a way that will never be the same as it was before my son was born. And I wouldn’t ever want to go back to the me before now. It’s truly who I’ve been waiting to become, but I couldn’t have realized it until I was already here. It changes you into someone who while trying to go on about normal life, (the life you had before when things were easy and you only thought about yourself), into someone who is now fundamentally different. Because there is always always a part of you that is with your child, thinking about your child and knowing that above all else, your child is your priority. That the little stresses and obligations you once felt are so small, so infinitely unimportant when compared to your baby. And everything is compared to your baby because it’s now all you know.

So when Marie finished talking, we all got up with our bellies and our babies and we joined in a little huddle around Marie. And as we came together, Sienna, one of the babies, reached out and put her hand on Marie’s shoulder and left if there while we gave her a few heartbeats of support. And it was really a beautiful communal moment. That all these women, all these mothers, were there together and connected and moved in a way that none of us would have been before our children were here or one their way. Totally connected. And so that is motherhood for me. A deep deep connection to life, to its frailty and its strength and its beauty and uncertainty all at once; and more importantly to all the women who are on the same beautiful path by your side. We know each other, we do. And of course there’s your child, and that is something that a more seasoned, more eloquent writer would have to explain.

It’s an extraordinary experience, this motherhood. Highly recommend it.

February 8, 2010

this february weekend

Winter is subtle in California… at least at the southern end. We have cold clear days mixed in with a warm weekend or a massive rainstorm. But things still shift and we enjoy our seasons just the same. This weekend brought

Winter flowers:

I am ever enamored with Magnolias. Our neighborhood is full of the slender pink buds right now. (and Camellias too).

Winter foods:

citrus citrus citruscitruscitrus. I cannot get enough. At least 3 oranges per day must be consumed. And the Cara Caras are in season right now. Run to the farmer’s market and find them if you can.

Winter projects:

Or should we say mega nesting? I went on a roman shade kick this weekend and turned mini blinds for 4 windows into roman shades. Tutorial here on Little Green Notebook. SO easy and, no they’re not the most polished looking window coverings, but they are sooooooo much better than old mini blinds.

And winter babies:

My dear friend Jessica who I’ve been on the pregnancy journey with for the last 9+ months had her little girl on Saturday. She was due 3 days before me. I think because we’ve been so close through this whole process, the arrival of little Yvette (Friday night not here, Saturday morning HERE), so quickly has made the end of the journey feel very real and very unpredictable. And truly like a little poof of magic. I talked to Jessica on Friday night about normal boring household stuff, she wondered if she was ever going to go into real labor (she’d been having random contractions and a number of other “signs” for a week), and we pondered what it would be like to insert a newborn into our lives and our homes. Couldn’t imagine it, really. And then an hour later she was in labor. And by noon the next day I had a surprise email from her husband with this photo. Completely amazing.

And now, as it goes… I’m next. Though it could be another 3 or 4 weeks I suppose. Trying to prepare myself for however and whenever this baby wants to come. I realized after seeing little tiny perfect Yvette, that I can plan all I want for my perfect birth but when it comes down to it, I don’t care how he or she gets here as long as (s)he’s here and healthy and home.

January 26, 2010

away we go

Has anyone else seen this? We watched it over the weekend and it was so cute. I swear we didn’t have it at the top of our netflix queue because it happens to be about a young-ish couple preparing for their first baby. Didn’t even realize that’s what it was about. But that of course made me love it a little bit more.

It’s sweet and funny and has a great cast… and the alternative parenting portion of the movie is HI-LARIOUS.

And the whole soundtrack is Alexi Murdoch. I like him, also contributing to my enjoyment of the movie.