Monday, July 25, 2011

The new me :)

Hello blog world! The new Jessica is here!

Something happened to me after my kid turned 1. I became uber-productive. I've decided to start a business, I'm finishing up a writing project with an illustrator-friend, and I'm cooking a lot of new recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow's amazing new cookbook. Needless to say, the ol' blog has taken a back seat.

I guess that is what happens sometimes. Life gets in the way!

Here's to productivity, though. I'm feeling like a new woman, and I'm loving this new side of myself.

More good news: The Noel family is moving to a new neighborhood! Philly has never looked so good :)

Tenderly and with gumption,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Dear John (aka "Dada"),
Thank you for being the best father Singer could ever have. He is one lucky little guy, and he thinks you are the coolest.

"Take your time, think a lot.
Think of everything you've got."

I love you,
Jess (aka "Mom-Mom")

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A beautiful friend

I met Laura when Singer was about four months old. I had the pleasure of joining this really cool group of Earth Mamas who (surprise surprise!) resided in South Philly, too. Over beers and babies one Friday afternoon, Laura and I realized we had a lot in common. A beautiful friendship was born.

Sadly, Laura and her family recently moved out of the city to a quaint little community called Bethlehem, PA. But not so sadly, Singer and I get to visit!

Not only is it refreshing to be surrounded by trees, breathing clean air, and eating salad picked straight from Laura's garden, but it's also really wonderful to get "Laura-perspective" on life. She reminds me to give "good energy" to things that I'm self-conscious about for healing purposes, and her clarity and positive living is so very inspirational to me.

Needless to say, Laura and I will be continuing a valuable friendship despite her move out of Philly. I am so blessed by this woman! And Singer is blessed by Alma's friendship, as well. Obviously, Alma provides Singer with good rest after a playdate :)


PS: Look what time it almost is!! Hydrangea time!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

newfound FREEDOM

With Singer's new steps, I'm doing a little more stepping myself! The chase is just beginning. New workout routine? Fine. I'll take it. I guess it's worth it, and seeing my little man light up with his new wings that take him wherever he wants to go is priceless.

Teetering and tottering,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

and so it begins...

I'm making another blankie. I've made two so for Ro and one for Singer. Now, Ro has a new sister. So, I'm off to stitch land. I hope to finish it by the time baby girl Ryder Mae is three years old. :) Just joking. I hope to finish it by the time we meet Ryder Mae this summer.

Slip stitch n pass,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Uncle Patri

came to visit. He stayed for a week, and I swear I don't even really remember what went on because I was laughing hysterically the whole time. Here's some pics to remind me.

hmm...nope. I don't have a clue. But, I can tell you that Singer's face looks like this when Uncle Patri is around:
We all miss you dearly, Uncle P. But, I'm sure we'll see you soon!
Here's to real housewife realness!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reflections on a Year

One year ago, I was in my midwife's office VERY ready to have this baby. I was huge, I was uncomfortable, and I couldn't wait to meet my little boy. Fast forward to today: I'm a mommy. And I have a one year old. And it all flew by in the blink of an eye.
Happy birthday my son. You have transformed me in a way I didn't know was possible. You are the reason I evolved into someone stronger. You changed me, and I am forever blessed by this change.

Singer, thank you. You made me a mother. And there is nothing in this world that fulfills me more. You challenge me every day to be a better person...for you. You bring me such joy, and sometimes I can hardly catch my breath because the love I have for you knocks me over.
To my son on his first birthday!
Mothering always,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Prayers for Pam

My best friend since highschool is going through a rough time right now. I'm not sure all the details, but I know that she needs our prayers. Her mama is sick and in the hospital, and her mama is one incredible woman. When I think of what Peace would look like if she were a person, I think of Pam.

Send a little energy to Anna and Pam, please.

Friendship Bread for everyone,

Monday, April 18, 2011

All you need is....

a really great blanket!

A million hugs and kisses to my dear friend Jill who sent us this lovely wool fabric. Jill forewarned me--she said she wasn't sure if the fabric would be good for anything other than a blanket. Perfecto!

I ran a couple quick seams, and we now have the perfect park (and Phish shows) companion.

Nothing like a little easy sewing.
Love to Jill,

Friday, April 15, 2011

the National Aquarium: Pioneering for Pisces (John's suggested title--haha)

When Singer and I decided to visit the National Aquarium in DC, we thought we were in for another great day at the tanks. Remember: babies love fish! Little did we realize that this aquarium is really a conservation project, and learning about what this team of scientists is doing for the aquatic world was pretty cool.
A little history for you: The Aquarium is OLD. In 1873 it was established as the nation's first. Since 1932 the aquarium has been housed in the Department of Commerce Building. And in 1982, the aquarium was established as an independently operated, non-federally funded entity. This makes me a little sad to think that the federal government has better things to spend their money on than this gallery. But, at the same time, I think it's really amazing that the independent researchers are committed enough to keep the project running despite the lack of federal funding.
The aquarium's National Marine Sanctuaries Gallery is by far the soul exhibit of the institution. Each tank represents a different species that is protected by the National Marine Sanctuaries Program. Singer discovered the Loggerhead Sea Turtles exhibit, and we ended up spending a lot of time with the baby turtles. We learned that when the turtles are about one year old, they are released back off the coast of North Carolina into the wild blue to start their adult journey.
If you are in DC, you should definitely check out this beautiful and important space. The fish need our support. Also, the DC Aquarium partners with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and a membership buys you access to both locations.

Viva la (fish) revolution!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Hippie baby goes to DC (during Cherry Blossom fest)

We just got back from four days in Washington, DC. It was such an amazing time, and I couldn't help but laugh as I was going back through our photos. Our kid looks like a little hippie. Wonder where he gets that from??
The Smithsonian's Natural History Museum boasted a Rastafarian exhibit and a crocheted coral reef. Nice.
Enlarge the following kite association pics by clicking on them. The kites are beautiful.

And for Yaya: Singer's first McD's french fry.
He barfed approximately one nano-second after this pic was taken.

Spring in DC reminded me of a 60s love-fest for some reason. Maybe it was the kites, or maybe it was strolling in and out of history with my son. We really tried to see everything, and when Singer is older, I can't wait to show him the pics of his historical vacation as an 11-mnth old :)

To the past (and the future),

P.S. Stay tuned for a post about a cool D.C. conservation project we got to experience.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hello Goodbye

Singer has recently said goodbye to his beloved Moos. These weird stuffed-animals-on-soothies were a saving grace during his baby days, and I honestly thought he'd be sleeping with a Moo forever. But, with the introduction of Snuffles (a Gund teddy bear that my sister sent from Oregon) into the crib, Singer has given the Moos up. He's moved on to bigger things.

I wanted to take a photo of Singer and Snuffles, but my camera makes this really loud noise when it clicks a picture. So, to assure that I wouldn't wake him up, I took a video. Without further ado, here's Singer & Snuffles in an intimate embrace, and you also get a tiny tour of my row home :)

This new hello goodbye symbolizes so much for me: my baby is growing up. Singer will be a year old in a couple weeks. I pray for the strength to get through his birthday party without bawling the whole time. It went by fast.

Watching him grow,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Crepe Date

My two "first friends" in Philadelphia were Kira and Jane (remember Jane from this post). We met while we were cast-mates in this really artsy Fringe show, and we've been getting closer every day since. They were there when pregnancy was a little scary, and they threw me a baby shower, and they're still my friends after those sleepless new-mommy days, and I was there when Kira announced she was preggers, and I waited patiently for her baby girl to be born because I had one secret desire: to stroll in Philadelphia with my baby alongside my friend and her baby :)

This week I got my wish! Singer and I went strolling with Kira and baby Eloise. We visited our favorite spot--Cafe L'Aube on South Street--for some real French crepes and coffee. Singer sang and Eloise slept, and I couldn't help feeling so blessed by the moment. I told Kira that I can't believe we are both here with our BABIES. Who would've thought?? I guarantee that neither one of us two years ago when we were half-naked wax sculptures writhing on a stage in front of a Fringe audience ever guessed we'd be where we are today. Ever.

And is there anything funnier than a baby pointing to a baby and saying "baybee"???

Here's to friendships that evolve into something bigger than you could have ever imagined.
For Kira,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes

Thank god for this book! I had started to discard it when Singer stopped eating purees, but when I recently dusted it off and revisited the toddler recipes, I found help! Food my kid will actually eat!!

The recipes are a bit more involved than a typical quick-and-easy meal, but it's worth it. They are delicious for the whole family. Tonight, we had bacon, green bell pepper, onion, rosemary, and swiss fritattas, yesterday we made the weekend waffles with banana sauce, last week I made the chicken and mango quesodillas, and this week I'm attempting to tackle salmon and corn chowder.

Oh!!! I was SO FED UP with pasta!! What a lifesaver this book is.
Enjoying mealtime again,

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Searching for Spring

This past Friday, Singer and I had a special mommy-son date. We ventured out to West Chester, PA (about 45 minutes from Philadelphia) to pay homage to the beautiful Longwood Gardens. We know that Spring is just around the corner, but at Longwood it's already here!

I didn't really know what to expect. I had heard that these grounds and indoor gardens were incredible, but I had no idea how truly amazing they are. Longwood is a maze of greenhouses to get lost in, and that's exactly what we did. Hours passed by like minutes as we took in every bloom. It was heavenly.

I also have to mention how accommodating Longwood Gardens is for families. The paths are very stroller-friendly, there is a fun Children's Garden with musical activities, fountains and a flower maze, and there are convenient baby-changing stations in the restrooms (what a treat! In Philly, sometimes you never know where you'll end up changing your baby!).

The best part: we were there for the International Orchid show. Wow. It was incredible. These tiny delicate flowers mesmerized us, and the artistry of orchid breeding was so apparent. Of all the beauty I've tried to expose my kid to, I think this day may take the cake. Singer couldn't get enough.

Thank you, Longwood Gardens, for the beautiful gift!
Stopping to smell the roses,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blowing kisses (kind of)

Please don't mind the splattered dinner all over the highchair and baby :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


It's that time of year again! Yay! My box of lillies says it's SPRING!!
Of course, as I'm typing this, the forecast says that tonight's low is 26 degrees. Pay no mind! The flowers say spring is here!

Can't wait to love on Philadelphia again,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Geeze!! I don't usually apologize for blog breaks. I figure everyone understands that you sometimes gotta do what you gotta do. But, I'M SORRY for this one. My excuse isn't even a good one: my kid has stopped napping!!! HELP!!!

It happened after we got back from Florida. Something changed while we were there. My mom thinks maybe the sunshine instilled a new sense of confidence in him. Who knows? All I can say is this kid has gained an opinion...about everything. Singer doesn't want to sit in his highchair, he doesn't want to eat, he doesn't want to put on his shoes, and he doesn't want to have a diaper change. He doesn't want to nap, he doesn't want to nurse, and he doesn't want to get dressed. The list goes on...

What he DOES want to do: eat dirt off the floor, bang on the laptop, play in the dog's water bowl, pull all the leaves off the plants, climb the stairs, open the cabinets and climb on the dishwasher, and rearrange the furniture. I'm serious. He MOVES furniture.

So, I've been getting really creative about hiding vegetables in Pesto Ravioli or Grilled Cheese (the only two things he'll eat), and I've also been putting the teeny tornado to bed at 7pm. Who can blame me?!

One thing I can say--with each passing day, my baby is turning more into a toddler. And while it breaks my heart to see him grow up, I cannot express in words how proud of him I am. He is such a funny, kind little soul. He's curious about everything, and he reminds me of his daddy. And he reminds me of me sometimes, too.

And he's actually taking a nap right I shouldn't complain :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Daddy

Singer was without John for seven days while we vacationed in Florida, and then John met us on day seven for some family time. I have NEVER seen a kid light up the way Singer did when we met John at the airport. It was a very special moment for all of us.

I am so blessed by the love between this father and son. And I'm also blessed that Daddy took his son for a sunrise stroll and let mommy sleep-in while we were in St. Pete Beach (see above pic).

Feeling the love,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sister's blog debut

My brilliant sister is publishing her works on a project journal blog called Art By Natalie Fletcher. Please check her out, follow her blog, and show your support for this starving-yet-still-creating artist. I am so proud of her, to say the very least.

Shine on, Sis!