Natural Instincts

I was duly forewarned about unsolicited advice that would come my way during pregnancy and I have been fully prepared to deal with outdated methods and suggestions that don’t necessarily match my and my husband’s parental plans.

What I was not expecting was to be inundated with and thoroughly annoyed by how people feel the need to tell us that our natural instincts will take over,  in response to our attendance at child care class.

“Don’t worry, your natural instincts will take over.”

Really?  Then, hey, why don’t I just labor here on the couch during a Murder She Wrote marathon, and let my natural birthing instincts take over.  Because, after all, we are animals and most species go the birthing route unaided by nurses and epidurals.  They just squat and pop a litter out.

Oh, no, no, that makes no sense.

However, when it comes to caring for an infant and learning to adapt to their needs, THAT is when people feel it appropriate to suggest I should leave it up to my natural instincts.  Because, I mean, you never hear about women having difficulty with breast feeding or how a dad can be overwhelmed by his first time changing a diaper.  Learning how to clean, wipe, powder and attach a diaper to your child dates back to the prehistoric age where our instincts are based, right?

Yeah, not so much.  I don’t believe cavemen had Pampers.

It’s called learned behavior.  Meaning you have to learn it somewhere, either from a family member, friend, or an expert, such as our doula.


Did you know that talc baby powder is now deemed BAD for children and adults?  It’s a total no go.  It’s linked to chronic respiratory issues and ovarian cancer.  Did you know that 7 years ago, it was discovered that the polymer in disposable diapers had absorbed into the scrotal sack of many infant boys, wrapped around their testes and caused them to not drop?  Companies were forced to change their diaper make up. Or were you aware that new studies have shown that in the first 3 months of life, when a boy is exposed to cold wipes and pees himself, it is due to his brain sending a survival message because it thinks he’s dying?  So now they actually suggest that you get a wipe warmer for him until those months pass.

If you didn’t know, then maybe you should come to class with us next time.




The Goblin King

The first thing that Jesse said to me this morning was that David Bowie had passed last night. I still can’t comprehend that the Goblin King, who was my first glimpse of glam rock, is no more. It’s like a piece of my childhood was crushed before my eyes.

It was many, many years later that I was actually exposed to his musical genius and the effect he had on the creative world at large, from art to fashion to sound.

Jesse spent all week working on an illustration – David Bowie vs Metropolis.  We had it set for release today, as our first #MashupMonday post.


I hope that it does Bowie justice and that his fans and his family know that it was created to express his iconic stature and his desire to be more than human.

Dream Weaver

Last night’s pregnancy dream –
I had a dream last night that I birthed our child early at 32 weeks, breech, painlessly and by myself. He had the brightest blue eyes just like his dad.
But he was very tan. The tan bothered me. I was like, why is my child so tan? We are both so white and not tan.

He was small, perfect and annoyingly tan.



Photo Box Journey Continued

On Veteran’s Day it’s hard not to think about your loved ones, living and passed, who have served their country.  I once again found myself going through the tattered box of photos that my grandfather, Royce Terry, left behind from his service during WWII.

Happy Veteran’s Day to those who have honored our country and our citizens by serving.

Photo Box 20 Photo Box 21 Photo Box 22 Photo Box 23 Photo Box 24 Photo Box 25 Photo Box 26 Photo Box 27 Photo Box 28 Photo Box 29

Photo Box Journey

My grandfather, Royce Terry, was an aviation machinist in the US Navy, during WWII.

Photo Box 1

It wasn’t until 2005, the last lucid year of his life and before Alzheimer’s hit full force, that he brought out a box that hadn’t been opened in 50 years.  Within that box were clippings and photos of his time in service.  My grandfather had taken a small brownie camera to capture moments of his and the country’s history at that time.  He developed each of these photos himself, which shows in that they are not standard size and vary from thumbnail size to a few inches big.

It took me several years after his passing to request taking the photos with me, so that I may scan them in and try to commemorate my grandfather, his story and the history he captured.

Photo Box 3

Photo Box 6

Photo Box 4

Photo Box 7

Photo Box 2

This is just the start of my process.  I’ll post more as I’m able to scan them in and fiddle with the contrast.  So many of them are yellowed, seemingly beyond repair, but it’s amazing what modern technology can do

If you have any suggestions about how I may preserve the originals, please let me know.  It seems as if he had these glued into a photo book at one point, as each photo has black paper peeling at the backs.


Royce C. Terry
1921 ~ 2006

The Mind of a Mad Woman…aka Pregnant and Hormonal

I woke up at 1:30 am, headachy and hot.  So hot.  I am always so hot these days…it’s also 90 degrees in LA and we lack A/C.  It’s like I’m begging to be miserable and uncomfortable right now.

I started thinking about labor and delivery.  Then I started worrying about dying during labor.  As the scene played out in my head…my husband weeping over me, as I look into his eyes….I delivered the most profound deathbed speech.  One that had me tearing up because it was so freaking touching.  As I wept over my own platitudes, I thought, wow, I should be a death scene writer for television and movies…that was just so good.

I wiped away my tears, got up from the bed and went and had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and popped a Tylenol.

Two Longnecks: Bringing up Baby

And……we are #SocialMediaOfficial


The Vital Clan is expanding and has a rockstar, baby boy, on the way!
Royce Anthony Vital is due February 28th and we couldn’t be more thrilled 🙂

Our actual sonograms:

9 weeks, 2 days –

13 weeks, 3 days**
Royce_Vital_ 13 weeks_3days
**this is the sonogram that Jesse created our announcement from.

We look forward to the great changes that parenting will to bring to our lives.  I wouldn’t say we are either ready or prepared, but we’re greatly anticipating this next adventure!

This week in #beachwoodcanyon life – End of an Era

It’s been a year since I started this neighborhood project, my exercise in gratitude.  This is the last post for this personal photo series.  On to a new inspiration and challenge….


To read how my #beachwoodcanyonlife project came about: click here

To look at last week’s highlights: click here

To see my daily post of #beachwoodcanyonlife, follow me on instagram @giant_ginger_giraffe

This week in #beachwoodcanyonlife











To read how my #beachwoodcanyonlife project came about: click here

To look at last week’s highlights: click here

To see my daily post of #beachwoodcanyonlife, follow me on instagram @giant_ginger_giraffe

This week in #beachwoodcanyonlife











To read how my #beachwoodcanyonlife project came about: click here

To look at last week’s highlights: click here

To see my daily post of #beachwoodcanyonlife, follow me on instagram @giant_ginger_giraffe