Category: Parenting


I was reading through some of my past posts last night and kind of reflecting on the year. This one was a really emotional one to write and I got teary eyed reading it again. Skye is 2 1/2 years old now and I feel the exact same way as I did the day I wrote this. I’m probably more in love and in awe of him than I was just a year ago. He is and always will be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

This might sound silly, but sometimes I think about writing a love letter to Skye. I can’t believe how much I love this little person that I’ve known for such a short amount of time. I think thats one of the things that has surprised me most about motherhood. I mean I love a lot of people like a lot, but the love that I feel for Skye is astounding.

For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a mother. That want was really driven home after my sister had my nephew Cougar. I saw the love and happiness that she felt and he would make us laugh until our stomachs hurt. When we decided to have a baby I was so excited to have that same feeling every day with a child of our own. Now deciding to get pregnant and it actually happening did not come easy for us. After three and half painful years of trying we finally got pregnant! When the nurse called me with the results of my blood test and told me that I was pregnant I actually screamed into the phone Shut The F**k Up! I could not believe it. I remember running straight to the pharmacy and buying a pregnancy test because in three and half years I never saw a positive on a pregnancy test. That test is still sitting in my bathroom cabinet. I look at it sometimes and it reminds me of how excited and happy I was that day.

For some reason I always thought that when you got pregnant it would be this monumental change that was felt immediately. Not the case with me. I never got morning sickness, sore boobs or all the other things that you read about women experiencing that eluded to a little person taking over their body. I remember the first time I felt Skye move. It was amazing and I wanted to feel it all the time. I bought a heart monitor so that I could hear his heartbeat every day. I was actually kind of psycho about listening to his heartbeat. It was like a drug for me and I was addicted.

Halfway through my pregnancy I found out that I had a low lying placenta and was reassured that it would move up as I progressed. Unfortunately that never happened for me and I had Skye almost 8 weeks early. My placenta ruptured on the 4th of July and I had Skye via emergency C Section just into the 5th of July. Zach was on tour and I was all alone. I remember waking up in the recovery room alone with no baby. I didn’t get to see him for almost 24 hours.

I feel so much closer to Skye after what happened to us. I feel like he and I went to battle together and we made it through. I was really slapped in the face with how precious life is. I waited so long to have this baby and he was almost taken away from us. I am not religious, but I really am so grateful to whoever was watching over us that night.

I don’t really remember the first time that I saw him because I was in such a haze. I think part of me was still in shock about what happened. I do remember him being really small, but he looked puffy. He had tubes and wires coming out of every which way. I felt so guilty for what happened. He was suppose to live inside me for 8 more weeks and now he had to learn how to breathe and eat on his own. Kangaroo care is encouraged in the NICU. Its skin on skin contact and it helps regulate the baby’s temperature and heartbeat. Its actually quite healing for both the mother and the baby.

This picture was taken four days after I had Skye. I had just got released from the hospital and I went home for a few hours while the NICU was closed down for the nurse change over. I don’t know why I put on one of Zach’s shirts to wear that day, but it just seemed like the most comfortable thing to wear. When I picked him up out of the incubator and put him under my shirt I literally felt as if he sunk into me. It was like he was relieved that I was back. The look in his eyes as he’s looking up at me says it all. That is love. You can see it all in his face.

Nineteen months later we have this beautiful, happy rambunctious little boy. Sometimes I have to catch my breath because I still can’t believe I have this amazing son. It will happen at the most random moments. Like when he’s following me around the house saying Mama Mama or starts to pull all the toilet paper down into a huge pile on the floor. All of a sudden I realize that I have this child that I’ve always wanted. Other times I’ll be watching Skye from a distance he’ll be dancing or playing with his trains and he’ll see me watching him and he’ll blow me a kiss. Seriously the kid is a heartbreaker already and I love him more than he’ll ever know.


Picking out a Christmas Tree

Skye loved picking out a Christmas Tree the other day. He kept on running around yelling Trees at the top of his lungs. I think that we picked a pretty good one. I’ll post a few pictures later. I made a ton of garland over the weekend and I’m still spray gluing and dumping gold and silver glitter on it. I even made a tree skirt that came out really nice. 

I am pretty excited for Christmas this year, especially now that Skye is a bit older. It’s definitely more fun watching him get excited and bewildered with everything that is going on around him. I hope that he has a magical childhood with tons of great family memories.


A Sad Day…

Today is a sad day here in the U.S. Twenty beautiful innocent children were killed as well as seven adults. The news is saying that the gunman was mentally ill and that the issue of mental health should be immediately addressed, but we also really need to address stricter gun laws. This is the third shooting in the past few months. When is this going to stop?

My heart hurts for all of the families and it makes me want to hug Skye and never let him go.


‎”We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela.

Halloween (late)

I really wanted to get these photos up of Skye’s Halloween costume that I made him, but guess what? I got sick AGAIN. Seriously, we need to catch a break at my house. I can’t keep on getting sick like this. Especially with a husband that tours all the time. Anyway, I have become an obsessive hand-washing, hand sanitizing freak. Two year olds + playgrounds+ whatever else they touch = nasty germ territory. Any tips from moms (or dads) out there on how to stay healthy?

We did have a blast on Halloween. Skye went from not wanting to wear the costume that I made him to not wanting to take it off and then wanting to wear it out again the next night. That made me so happy since I worked so hard on it for him. And I stood in line at Jo-Ann Fabrics for forty-five minutes waiting to buy sparkly black felt with a massive sinus infection.  We didn’t let him eat too much candy, but thats because Zach and I ate it all. I only feel a tiny bit guilty.

I love that he didn’t want to take the costume off!

Super Simple Halloween DIY

I’m kind of in love with the Baggu inspired Trick of Treating bag that I made for Skye from left over fabric from his Halloween costume. Its a super simple DIY that takes all of 5 minutes to make.I know I’m kind of late to post this since Halloween is tonight, but thats okay. 

You will need: fabric, thread, needles, scissors, ruler, chalk, sewing machine

  1. take a piece of fabric and fold it in half so the right sides of the fabric are facing each other
  2. with a piece of chalk and a ruler draw a rectangle the size that you want your bag on the wrong side of the fabric ( mine is 17 in long and 9.5 in wide) and a half circle to cut out for the handles
  3. pin it along your lines leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam allowance
  4. sew the straight lines of the rectangle stopping where you want your handle openings ( I double stitched the bag so it will be strong for all the candy) My handle openings are 6 in long
  5. Flip the bag to the right sides and Voila! A super awesome Trick or Treating bag!

Fresh Heir (Father & Son)

I’m so excited! A few months ago my husband Zach and our son Skye posed together for a photo shoot for Riviera Magazine. I love the photo that they chose to run. Skye was yelling and dancing around while Zach stood smugly behind him. Always his cool, relaxed self.

Armistead Burrwell Smith IV, aka Zach, and son Skye at Essex Lofts. Photo by Robert Benson

Fresh Heir

by AnnaMaria Stephens |Riviera San Diego Magazine | October 25, 2012

Like father, like son. It may be a cliché, but it’s definitely accurate when it comes to local musician Zach Smith, whose band, Pinback, just released its long-awaited new album, Information Retrieved. Artistry is simply in the Smith genes.

Zach, aka Armistead Burwell IV, lives and works in Little Italy’s acclaimed mixed-use Essex Lofts, which subtly resemble an aircraft carrier and always have a waitlist. The architect? Zach’s father, urban-design pioneer Ted Smith, who resides three doors down from his son.

“I can’t imagine living in a building that wasn’t designed by my dad,” says Zach. “I’d feel out of place. There is so much I admire about his architecture. I wouldn’t be who I am without it and it’s had a major influence on the music I create.”

A fixture in S.D.’s music scene for two decades, Zach, a prodigious bass player, catapulted from indie to international acclaim with Pinback. Five years have passed since the last album, but he has a good excuse.

Along with producing other bands out of his home studio, he released his first full-length solo album as Systems Officer and reformed his cult-followed ’90s band Three Mile Pilot, which also put out a new album and toured the West Coast, with a European tour coming up this fall. “And I had my now 2-year-old son, Skye,” he adds.

That would be Skye Burwell Smith—the spitting image of his father. “He has a knack for music and constantly wants to play the drums, piano and my guitars,” says Zach of his fashionable mini-me, who runs around the family’s concrete compound in a rocker-cool denim vest while his stylist mom perfects pork buns. The pair sometimes wander down to Ted’s jam sessions, where the third generation shows off his pint-size dance moves. “Skye fits right in,” says Zach. “It’s a great thing to share music with your grandpa.”

Smith’s Hots 
Mongolian hot pots at Little Sheep, Tofu House, K’s bánh mì sandwiches in Kearny Mesa, the Chargers, my wife’s cooking

Smith’s Nots 
Chick-fil-A, the Raiders, my cooking


When I first started this blog earlier in the year it was a way for me to work on my goals. Mainly it was goals that I had for working on projects around our loft. At the time I was giving myself three goals a week with the exception that if I could only get one of them done that it wasn’t the end of the world. Obviously, I haven’t stuck to my three goals a week. Largely in part because I realized that I was accomplishing three or more things a week regardless of me posting them on the blog.

Sometimes its hard to keep a promise to yourself. But to realize that its not the end of the world is okay too. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do around my home lately. So I was kind of thinking about declaring them here to get my lazy ass in gear. I’ll be the first to admit that trying to get any major project done with a two year old is difficult. I read somewhere that trying to pick up after a toddler is like trying to shovel snow while its still snowing. Two year olds are hard work period. And trying to tackle anything with one in tow is maddening.

So here is my list of things that I would like to do. Preferably before Zach leaves for a month long Pinback tour.

1. Take down Noguchi light and have the cord extended so I can swag it across the ceiling and hang over my dining table

2. Bring long Kilim runner to the upholsterer and have floor pillows made

3. Put the freaking handles on the two kitchen islands that we bought SIX MONTHS AGO!

4. Take down and re-hang the picture ledges/book shelves in the hallway. Whats the saying measure twice cut once. Yeah, we didn’t listen to that one and now we can’t close the hallway door. Duh!   Yay!!!

I’m going to leave the list as-is right now and not add anymore to it.  None of these things are that difficult and I don’t even have to do two of them. I just need to bring them to the appropriate person to do them for me. Oh my gosh I am so lazy!

Sick Week

Well we got hit by the sick bug hard this past week. First Skye had a really high fever. I think that his second year molars are coming in and Zach got hit with a really horrible migraine. The two of them ended up in bed together for the day.

Is this not the cutest picture ever? I came home from running errands and found the two of them tangled up together asleep. My heart pretty much melted into a lovey dovey mess.

Friday night Skye and I were at the playground by our building with a friend and her daughter when Skye fell down a few concrete stairs face first. I managed to catch him by his waste, but his face still smacked the stair and he jammed his poor little hand and arm. So off to the ER we went to make sure his arm wasn’t broken. Thank goodness its not, but Skye is pretty scarred by the ER visit. I swear he was having flashbacks of being a preemie and spending the first month of his life in the hospital.

The kid does look pretty cute with a shiner.

Now, we’re all sick with a head cold. I feel like we just can’t catch a break. Lets hope that it passes quickly and we’ll all be on the mend soon.

Modern Mobiles

Here is a new piece about Modern Mobiles that I just worked on for

Bookhou Flock Mobile

Singing in the rain

Or should I say dancing!

It FINALLY rained out today! And it was a good, strong rain too. I don’t remember the last time it rain/rained in San Diego, but we definitely needed it.

Skye flipped his lid! He had so much fun dancing and splashing in the puddles. He even laid down in a few. Needless to say he was soaked, but had so much fun. 

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