Lazy days and far away friendships

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{some of the photos below were taken by Teagan, the rest- as usual some by Andrew, most by me}

The best part about having friends ALL OVER the US is that while you miss them so much on most days, the times when they are able to visit become incredibly special. Our house is ALWAYS open to our friends, everyone knows it. And most of our friends out of state have taken advantage of the open door policy ( in a good way) as frequently as they can. We love that! There’s something special about having people you love spend a week or two living in your house, having fun, waking up and going to sleep with you, watching movies, taking trips to the beach. It’s like a big adult and sometimes co-ed slumber party. Actually, now that I think of it, I need to buy like 10 sets of Victoria’s Secret pjs of all sizes just for guests, so that we would match too 🙂

We’ve had a few visits from friends since Alexis was born, and it’s been a bit different, since you aren’t free to just let loose and do whatever you want to. No late night movies, or marshmallows by the fire and an outdoor movie theater in a hammock, no shopping, no lounging while drinking tea. I have a baby tied to me at all times. BUT we HAVE been able to do a few things and as Lexi grows, those traditions will come back. One more year and we’ll have s’mores by the fire again.

But for now, getting to go to dinner and the beach is usually the extent of it 🙂

So when Scott and Teagan from Nebraska came to visit, we mostly kept it low key with lots of vegan cooking ( Teagan is God when it comes to that), and a few beach outings, and of course my birthday.

I don’t remember if I wrote about it before, but do you know how you meet someone and you just realize that you’re 100% on the same wavelength. It’s much harder to do in real life, because you’re usually limited to people you live very close to, especially if you don’t go to work every day where you meet a lot of people. And even if you do work, you’re limited to people that you work with. So you basically are stuck with friends you made in college/high school and if you have since moved…well that’s that. So if you’re at all picky about the people you hang out with and consider friends, it’s not that easy to find that kindred spirit living next door to you.

For example, I am “friendly” with a variety of people, but I won’t consistently hang out with them and love them to death the way I do some of my close friends unless they fit me well. I cannot stand negative people, I used to just deal with them and continue being friends, but as I get older and my time becomes more valuable I start to realize that I just don’t have the energy to waste on people like that. In the past year, I’ve pulled away from 2 friends that I used to enjoy spending time with but have turned soooo negative and unpleasant. I also have no tolerance for drama or bitchiness. Then, of course, there are people who simply have different goals that me, so it’s hard to connect. In general, I get drawn to active people, ones that are smart, funny and like to be spontaneous and have fun, that are up for anything and have a positive outlook and are generally cool people. I have always been the type of person that would rather have fewer friends but ones that are up my alley than a bunch of “meh” friends.

Because we’ve moved so much, all my awesome friends are now all over the place. And now that Lexi is here, I have only a few “mommy friends” that I enjoy spending time with, but I will be going to the La Leche League meeting with a girl I met at Whole Foods (out of all places), as well as a few classes with Lexi, so we’ll see what our town has to offer 🙂 lol

Now the funny part is that I have had INSANE luck meeting people online. I can count probably 10 people who I LOVE LOVE LOVE who I met online, and a ton more that I haven’t gotten to meet in real life yet, but LOVE nonetheless.

Teagan and Scott are two of them. Teagan and I got to chat when we were both doing the Selfie Saturdays, a self-portrait photography challenge I used to run. Teagan is now heavily into self-portraiture and she is BRILLIANTLY talented. Like, this girl is out of this world with her self-portraits. When she told me they’d be going to Universal, we drove up there to meet them, and let me tell you, we just connected. We spent hours talking, discussing everything from politics to religion to health to veganism.

So needless to say, I loved having them here again, sharing relaxing Florida summer days with us.


So back to our day… we did our usual routine, California Pizza Kitchen for some vegan goodness ( they actually have a lot of vegan and vegetarian stuff on the menu) and the beach for sunset. This was the first time that we used the cabana tent and Alexis fell asleep while nursing at the beach, which was pretty stinking awesome.

The beach can be annoying and calming at the same time. You have sticky sand that gets in every crevice and yet somehow it’s not hard to ignore that unpleasantness the second you look at the glimmering water and breathe in the salty air. I find it very special to go there with Alexis. She loves water so much and truly enjoys swimming in the buoyant gulf waters, kicking her legs as if she really knows how to swim, attempting to drink the salt water, occasionally dunking her whole face into it. I am so happy to be living near the beach and in a warm climate so my baby could get used to spending days near the sand and the waves without developing fear of them.

Sometimes, we pop over to the beach with nothing but our towels, especially when the sun is almost set, other times it is this whole production with the beach blanket and the tent and the cooler stuffed with organic PB&Js. In fact, this time was my very first time having a PB&J sandwich. I was never crazy about jelly or peanut butter or white bread, so I’ve always just stayed away from this somewhat unhealthy American staple. But Scott promised that with the right ingredients it was going to rock my world. So he made me some. They were good. Scott and Teagan, on the other hand, weren’t so impressed with my canned sardines when we were talking about them possibly introducing healthy fish into their vegan diet. Russians and our sardines- we just love them. 🙂

So that was pretty much our day, filled with warmth and colors, friends and food. Below are just the rest of the pictures from that day. No more words. Enjoy.

How peaceful does this look? I was just so touched by this view. My baby sleeping in a tent on the beach….

Sleeping Lexi gave us the opportunity to take some non-baby related photos. We wanted to do self-portraits, but I think everyone was just too tired and too relaxed to deal with tripods and remotes. So we ended up giving Andrew some directions and having him take the photos instead.

We had fun. I love visits from soulmates that are spread all over the globe. They make you realize that mediocre friendships aren’t worth the effort even if they are convenient.

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  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    These pictures are so beautiful! Love this post. Just wondering – are you concerned at all about leaving an iphone so close to Lexi’s head? I let my 18 month old watch cartoons on mine in the car, etc., but not I’m thinking that it may not be worth the risk.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      I am actually very concerned about that! We put it on airplane mode whenever it’s this close to her, so there are no waves which is what causes all the issues.
      Look into pong research cases. I’m gonna get one of those. It redirects the harmful radiation and waves away from the phone.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Why no marshmallows by the fire? Or a lot of other things? I also EBF, had a baby who barely slept until she was year old, and I was not so open to nurse in public, but that never hold me to have people at home for dinner or just hang out, or even going out. I agree that you have to slow down when having a baby, because it’s not easy just to grab your purse and go out, but still don’t get the marsmallows by the fire

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      Lol you really liked the Marshmallows part huh?
      No s’mores because 1. She can’t eat them, 2. The carbon monoxide along with other bad stuff in fire smoke isn’t something I want to expose her to at this age.

      • Reply
        October 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        Yes, it seemed so random. We BBQ a lot, we just kept her away from the fire

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 24, 2012 at 3:06 PM

          I love firepit and sitting by the fire and smores and bbqing. So I can’t wait to do it again, but it’s just outside of my comfort zone to have a mobile infant next to a fire and any small child next to that much smoke. And if I keep her far enough away, then what’s the point of even doing it?

      • Reply
        October 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        Wow, it never occurred to me not to eat food or not serve it just b/c my baby or child couldn’t eat it. You really make nothing that your daughter can’t have? You never have a glass of wine?

        We’ve had out of town guests since we’ve had kids. Sure, it’s a lot different, and I don’t have super sleepers, but we’ve managed to still have wine, play games, chat, hang out in the yard, etc.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

          We don’t drink alcohol. I do eat food Lexi can’t eat but she has to have something as well. So in case of smores I don’t think it’s fair to eat in front of her and not give her some. But considering her age, we can’t just give her something because she has to be upright in a high chair as well as watch her carefully (since we do BLW), so it’s more work than it is fun until she grows up a bit.

          Plus it also has to do with modeling behavior. Like if I don’t want her to eat unhealthy foods I shouldnt eat them in front of her. It’d be hypocritical.

          • Leah
            October 24, 2012 at 5:01 PM

            Wine was just an example. Coffee. A raw carrot (choking hazard). Whatever example you want to use.

            It is pretty normal for kids to see their parents eat or drink things they aren’t allowed to have. It’s remarkable really – my daughter sees me drink coffee every day, but knows it’s an adult drink. She doesn’t ask for her own glass of beer. I model tons of great behavior, but I don’t think that means you can never do anything in front of your kids you don’t want them to do.

            If I really didn’t want to my baby to see what I was eating (and my youngest is 14 months and we did BLW, so I get all that), I would do it when she was in bed. My youngest has seen us have s’mores and she didn’t get any. I gave her an appropriate “baby” treat and she was fine.

            And I’m still confused about your earlier comment, you said that you love the fire pit but if Lexi can’t do it then what’s the point? But if you loved it before baby, you can still enjoy it w/ the baby (even if she is inside napping or sleeping while you do it). I thought she was going to bed before you guys did?

            I’m really not trying to give you a hard time, I just don’t get it.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            October 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM

            Ok the first part is moot point because it was said specifically in relation to s’mores which we didn’t do because of the Smoke.As long as she gets her own food and doesn’t stare at us hungrily watching us eat something she’s not allowed, it’s fine with me. Smoke is the issues for s’mores.
            As far as why I wouldn’t do a firepit while she sleeps till she is older, it’s simple. For one, she doesn’t sleep long enough for me to get a fire going. Two, and this is the key, when she does sleep THE last thing I have time to do is relax by a fire. This blog alone takes all my baby nap/sleep time, and then there’s running a household, too.

            Any awake time is spent with her and hubby so once she can join we’ll get back to fires. In the meantime we’ll do other activities that are more baby friendly.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    I guess I’m a bit confused. You mention being vegan constantly, yet you eat sardines?

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    lol, at the comment dissection.
    The baby is looking wonderful and that’s what it’s all about, whatever you choose, she’s happy, your happy you all are happy and safe
    . Whatever your life choices. Keep up the good work and blog, I love looking at her grow. If you choose blogging over roasting s’mores, I thank you.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      Funny, isn’t it? Thank you for the support over my choice to blog rather than sit by the fire 🙂 Which eventually will hopefully turn into blogging by the fire 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I’m waiting for someone to comment asking you to disclose whether you received any compensation from your friends for visiting you or if they just were sent to you for free. You sound pretty biased in favor of them 😉

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Well, my comment will seem completely random compared to those above, but i just wanted to comment on what you said about mediocre friends! It’s something I’m goinv through right now as well, the realization that is. Since my little one was born i find life has taken a turn and if something isn’t bringing you joy and nurturing you, why have it around! Thanks for the thoughts today!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 24, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      I am glad you went through the same thinking process. There’s just not enough time to waste it on people who don’t make you happy.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    I can’t believe all these people calling you out on every single thing. Your family is beautiful E and I love the choices you make as a mother. Ignore the haters.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Which of you guys took the clouds (beach7) and sand/seagull pics (beach6)?? Those are incredible.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2012 at 7:52 AM

      I know the seagull/sand one was taken by Teagan and I’m pretty sure the clouds ones were too because I don’t remember having free hands to take them.
      She has a fabulous eye for that sort of thing! I would have linked to her blog but she recently made it private.

      • Reply
        October 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        Yeah, she is insanely talented. Wow. Those are gorgeous!! Let her know I love them!

    • Reply
      October 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      I was going to comment on those as well – they are by far the most beautiful photos I’ve seen on your blog! They are fantastic! The color, composition, everything – lovely!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    The picture of you in the water, holding Alexis, with the sun in the back is gorgeous. You should frame it and out it somewhere in your house. What an awesome piece of art/family memory.

    Also, like someone said above, I totally agree with the stuff about negative people. I just recently broke off a friendship with a girl I’ve known since HS and it was sad. I think about her a lot still and I wish her well, but her negativity was draining. It’s hard to cut people out, but my own happiness is more important than hanging on to toxic people!

  • Reply
    Anna Kochetkova
    October 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Thank you for the great report!! 🙂
    As for friends, I often same… I have very little friends (ill need one hand to count them now) and people often say I’m weird…. My “negative” friend I’m still with used to hysterically looking for friends , she used to say “we need to make friends” and upset of we didn’t. It made me think at the time that she’s right we do NEED friends and got upset everyone we met where lets say very not nice ppl. When I clicked with someone I literally cried after cuz the feeling is amazing and VERY rare!! I am a little sad about it but I guess it’s my natural filter or as my mom say “your not flexible, daughter!” Lol

  • Reply
    Anna Kochetkova
    October 25, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    * and sorry was the misspelling above-its a little bumpy on this bus today lol

  • Reply
    Betty B.
    October 29, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    If you are interested in veganism, but feel like you need fish for omegas and iron, I wanted to point out that there are vegan omega/DHA supplements from algae (which is where fish get theirs from, btw). And, varied vegan diets typically provide more than enough iron.

    Beautiful pics! I wish your friends’ blog was not private!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      Hi, Betty! I used to take DHA from algae, but the amount there is negligible considering that as a nursing mother I should take up to 4grams of DHA. I currently take DHA supplements from fish, in addition to eating fish. I eat fish not necessarily because I am looking to add DHA and iron ( I know fully well that with the right combination of foods, plus more ALA foods and less omega 6s, you can get your body to convert the ALAs from plant sources to DHA). I believe fish is very beneficial and unlike dairy and meat products is more of a health food (as long as you get the right fish).
      My hubby is vegan, because he feels better when he doesn’t eat animal products, so he doesn’t eat fish for that reason.

  • Reply
    October 29, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Girl your blog is moving too fast for a mom knee deep in the trenches of the 4 month regression! I feel like I need to go back and comment on the last few posts! Heehee! First I have to say (totally irrelavant to this post) I’m so bummed we can’t get the Pria car seat where I live! Now I have to research MYSELF 🙁 and I totally second you on this whole life is too short to deal with toxic/negative ppl. I recently cut myself out a whole group of friends! Too much drama, life already has enough of those. And 3 I’m so jealous of your beach pictures I need to move somewhere happier! 😉

  • Reply
    November 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Hi Elena, I love your blog and have been reading it for some time now. Your blog actually inspired me to buy my first DSLR camera before my DS was born this June. You always have such great pics– may I ask how you get that shot of you on the beach holding Lexi up at sunset? What camera settings do you use to get that silhouette effect?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      November 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM


      You expose the camera on the sun rather than the person in the shot. You do have to shoot in manual to do that properly with the right focus.

      • Reply
        November 6, 2012 at 12:34 AM

        Thanks! 🙂

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