A Laelia Outfit #32; Happy 2nd Birthday!

A Laelia Outfit #32; Happy 2nd Birthday!

Ombré dress in pink cameo: baby GAP
Gold Glitter Cardigan: baby GAP
Headband: baby GAP
Sandals: Old Navy

And now for some photos I took of her in her birthday outfit, of course!

My camera was stolen

My camera was stolen

On Tuesday April 17th, Laelia’s birthday, my Canon 20D was stolen out of our stroller at Disneyland. We didn’t discover it was gone until 3 days later.

Friday, the day before Laelia’s birthday party, we were on a roll. It was almost 8 pm, and the shapes mobiles were almost 100% finished, the star puzzles were getting their last touches of paint and the cake was sitting pretty on a cake stand in the fridge, freshly frosted. All the food was purchased except a few items that had to be bought day-of (french bread, anyone?). All of the things I ordered online had come on time!  The house was sparkling thanks to my mom, who spent most of the day cleaning. The furniture had been rearranged, with plates and platters and bins out, ready to receive food. For the first time, I was pretty sure I was going to get a full-night’s sleep before a party (Does anyone else have this problem?)! The sun was setting as I was cutting sugar cookies; I very nonchalantly asked Tyler to get the camera out of the car.

Our camera very rarely sits in our car, but since I was so busy prepping for the party and I hadn’t seen it since Disneyland, I figured it was still there. He couldn’t find it in the car, so we started to look about the apartment. I knew I hadn’t seen it in the apartment over the previous three days (we had just cleaned the house top-to-bottom!), but we looked anyway. Then panic started to set in… I immediately called Disneyland lost and found. Although I was extremely doubtful that they would find anything, we left a report with them. I called my sister and my mother to see if they a) accidentally took the camera when they were gathering their things from our car, or b) remembered packing it into the car at all (they didn’t). At this point I started to completely break down. If you know me well, you know I don’t have break-downs or crazy cry-fests very often. I’m more prone to being snappy and having a short temper, which, thankfully, my more powerful desire to be a good mother and wife and to make myself and my small family happy is rapidly changing. However, I do suffer from the occasional panic attack. It’s nothing I take meds for; if I exercise and eat well, I don’t have problems. But that hadn’t happened over the last week or two. I felt my whole body start to tingle and sting, and I started hyperventilating.

An hour and a half flew by, and no further progress around the house had been made, and I didn’t feel any better. By this point, we had determined that no member of our party had seen the camera after dinner. I started to consider all the photos on the 4 gig memory card that was in my camera; a huge collection of documentation for this blog, our trip to Austin, Andy’s recent baby shower (so, so cute!), Laelia’s invitations, and all the photos from that day at Disneyland. Then I started to consider the future. I was planning to take photos of the birthday party at 1pm the next day, before guests started to arrive. I wanted to get a family portrait done, too. I also have some business opportunities coming up that absolutely require my camera. And, as most of this blog is original content, I can’t blog with out my camera.

By 10pm we were starving and nothing was moving forward. All I could do was sit there and mourn. Tyler left to go get food. He came back and we ended up getting in the worst.fight.ever. after I asked him to please try to put on a happy face for me and help me focus. Perhaps people will think it’s tacky to talk about a marital fight on this blog, but it happened, and I’d rather keep it real. The pictures that end up here are nice and edited and pretty, but our lives are not perfect. My husband has a problem with the words “It will be okay”. He thinks it is an empty, fluff-filled, insincere statement. I have to give him credit for being an incredibly genuine person, but sometimes I need to hear that phrase. He may think it is an empty statement, but when I hear it, it reminds me that life goes on. In the grand scheme of things losing my camera is not going to make the world stop turning. We must move on! But he couldn’t give me the simple phrase, or even an ounce of  comfort. I lost it all over again. We didn’t make much progress for the rest of the night even though we were up until 4am talking and trying to figure it out. Tyler stayed up later than me to finish putting up streamers, which I greatly appreciated. I’d like to say that I’m feeling better, but I’m not, which is strange because I’m not prone to holding grudges. All I can do is hope that he finally understands how important it is to comfort me when I need it, and that cliché expressions are not always empty. His 30th birthday is coming up very soon. He seems to actually be getting very excited about it. Hopefully things go very well and I’ll feel much better, and we’ll be back to our usual feeling of being made for each other.

As far as losing the camera goes, I have mostly come to terms with it. I finally had a moment to sit at my computer and find out what I had backed up, and I actually have most of my work; I have all the unedited outfits I have shot, I have my favorite shots from Austin, I have folders and folders of random photos from the house waiting to be filed properly. All I really lost was Andy’s baby shower, Laelia’s second birthday invites and the shots from that day at Disneyland. But there are some consolations; Andy had a Fujifilm instax 210 (an instant film camera), and there seemed to be hundreds of photos taken! When I remembered this, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders; her day was captured! Tyler’s cousin Lucas let me borrow his camera, so I can re-take the photos of Laelia’s invitations. And as far as the pictures I took at Disneyland, well… if you follow me on instagram you know how photo happy I was that day! It turns out I took over 100 photos on her birthday just on my phone! So, all is not lost. And with that, to end on a happy note, I’ll share with you some of my favorite instagram photos from her birthday, the day my camera was stolen…

Laelia’s Birth Story; Homebirth to Hospital

Laelia’s Birth Story; Homebirth to Hospital

5.5 mos pregnant/the FB picture we posted from our phones/Laelia Day 2

So, amazingly enough, a year ago was Laelia’s first birthday! But a year before that, she born (funny how that works). That story has yet to be told. Until now.

As some/many of you may already know, we had a home birth-hospital transfer, and let me say right now to get it out of the way; it was NOT an emergency. There—now you don’t have to read on while expecting things to get super exciting or anything. It was a normal boring 48 hour birth process that progressed in tiny steps and climaxed with her head being pulled out by a suction cup.

A long long time ago when I was a young and eager art college student, I moon-lighted as an anthropology major (in other words, double major). I learned a lot of things about humanity that I always thought to be quite obvious, but apparently most people found them to be revelations, and sometimes shocking. Among the more “shocking” information was that birth was a normal, natural process that would take place whether a laboring woman was in a field or a fancy hospital. The mother could be alone, or she could be in the presence of loved ones, doulas, nurses, midwives, doctors, anesthesiologists, etc–but either way, that baby would come. When I think about humanity, I don’t think with my “taboo on”, as I like to say. That might mean I have never been fully engrained within my own culture, but mostly it allows me to suppress my knee-jerk reactions to things which is entirely liberating. This means:

  • I know it’s normal for a 4 year old to breastfeed (from a biological and world view)
  • I know the difference between gender and sex, even though applications for health insurance and people proclaiming the “gender” of their unborn child don’t
  • I know, baby-wearing and co-sleeping ARE NOT TRENDS OR FADS. They are basic human traits. On the contrary, cribs and strollers are modern trends.
  • I know giving birth completely numb while strapped to a bed and monitors with IVs coming out of you is not normal. Giving birth via major abdomnial surgery is even more abnormal. When I was in college I learned the cesarean rate was 1/4 births in America, and it terrified me. When I got pregnant in 2009 it was 1/3. There was no way I was going to be in a hospital.

I got pregnant a whole month and a half after we got married. We just decided to see what happened, and it happened fast! I knew I wanted to be in the care of midwives, but I couldn’t decide on a home birth or a birthing center; my main problem with having a home birth was that we live in an apartment and I didn’t want to disturb my neighbors (I’m so nice, right?). Luckily, my new cousin-in-law and bff Becky had already had two HBACs (and now 3, the last birth being breech twins) with a very reputable pair of midwives, Leslie Stewart and Catherine Williams of Home Birth Services of Los Angeles. I went to the orientation meeting, and they immediately addressed my concerns about having a baby in an apartment by telling us a story about delivering in a 80 sq ft studio in Venice, and that there isn’t really anything in a birth center that they couldn’t offer us. What with this news, the fact that I don’t have to get on a freeway to get to their offices, and that they delivered Mayim Bialik’s (I saw her at an LLL meeting once!), Cindy Crawford’s (a family friend used to be her nanny, and when I mentioned my midwives at a Christmas party as my aunt was flipping over the idea of me having a home birth, she said something along the lines of how great my midwives were; this calmed my aunt down), and Pamela Anderson’s kids (oddly enough my bff nannied her kids for a while, and helped her mom who was their housekeeper), how could I say no? But seriously, these women have delivered everyone’s HB baby in Los Angeles. It’s weird. Or awesome. A little of both. Anyway, we felt very happy to settle on our birthing plan.

The only thing I was nervous about was telling people about our home birth because nothing brings out the shocked and defensive side of even the most non-judgmental people like doing something taboo. For some reason, just saying this occasionally makes women who choose to birth otherwise to proclaim all their very sound reasons for wanting to give birth in a hospital. As if simply stating “I’m planning a home birth” means “I’m planning a home birth and I think you’re stupid for wanting to give birth in a hospital”. So if anyone is reading this and getting all fired up about all of their reasons for preferring a hospital birth, please don’t. And if you are one of the rare persons who would prefer a home birth but for medical reasons would never be allowed one and you’re feeling defensive about your circumstances, don’t. You are what a hospital and it’s highly trained staff is for. (However, if you are reading this and you’re getting fired up because you want a HB but it is illegal in your state, please; get fired up! Start a petition!). I think these things are very personal. A woman should give birth where she feels she will be the most comfortable and capable of giving birth. There are plenty of good, solid reasons why many women feel more comfortable in a hospital, but I don’t feel comfortable in hospitals. They creep me out, and I feel suffocated. There are also just as many good, solid reasons to give birth at home. Luckily, home birthing is becoming less and less taboo, so I don’t worry at all anymore when I talk about it.

Okay, on to the actual birth story…

Continue Reading

Laelia’s 2nd Birthday Board

Laelia’s 2nd Birthday Board

Today, Laelia is TWO! And I’m finally posting her second birthday board. It’s hard not to feel pressure to produce something amazing after the viral success of Laelia’s first birthday board, but I really want to focus on Tyler’s 30th birthday too, so I just decided to give myself a break. I think this board lacks a certain sweetness necessary with children’s parties (I think it could be hard to tell it’s a kids party…), but I enjoy the sophisticated graphic look. It would also be great for a bridal shower! I think that playing up the shapes aspect of my idea for her party will help bring in that sweetness I’m missing here, but we won’t really see it until the party is in place…

The inspiration here was pink ombré and gradients, gold, black and white stripes, and geometric shapes. Laelia’s VERY into learning her shapes right now! :)

1) Balloons in varying shades of pink (and gold). We are getting the 16″ balloons from ziggos, and I’m heading to balloon emporium sometime this week to check them out. (image: Your Home Based Mom)

2) Black and White Stripes. I was feeling like this party needed something more than just pinks and golds… something to ground the pallet, and also give it a bit of a punch. Right now I’m convinced black and white stripes make everything better! I dare you to challenge me!! (image: Styling/Bird Dog Wedding & The Creative Parasol, Photography/Paige Newton Photography via The Sweetest Occasion)

3) Pink Depression Glass; I have so much of this from my grandmother. I think it is all reproductions from the 80s, but still awesome. I’m pairing the platters with my gold chargers. (image: Jesyka D’Itri Marés (myself))

4) Paper Straws; I ordered black and white stripe, pink polka dot and pink hearts. (image: pinterest— leads to a broken etsy link. I ordered from Hey Yo Yo)

5) Watermelon cut into shapes; To play up my shapes thing. Also, geo sugar cookies. (image: ohsweetbabies via flickr)

6) Ombré Cake! I’ve loved these forever, and now it will be time to see if I can execute it. I’m pretty sure I’ll just doctor a box cake, because I’ve never made a TDF cake from scratch, but adding sour cream to a box cake always ends up so delish. (image: call me cupcake!)

7) Fringed Streamers; I’ve already made a lot of progress here! I’m really excited. I just bought crepe paper streamers and fringe scissors, but of course the initial idea comes from Oh Happy Day. (image: erinheartscourt.com)

8) Pink Ombre Stripe Napkins; From Target. Perfect. (image: Jesyka D’Itri Marés (myself))

9) Black and white striped dress; I’m having no luck finding this dress in stock anywhere, so I’m ordering it from a LysaBo on etsy! She makes a very similar dress. Super excited! :)  (image: Bloomingdales)

10) Pink Lemonade in bottles with paper straws.  We are also doing pink champange, of course!! :) (image: Scissors Paper Cake via Cake Events Blog)

12) Black and White Stripes; Another inspirational black and white stripes image! (Image: The Sweetest Occasion)

13) Pink Bowls from Target. I’ll be putting popcorn and the strawberry yogurt Os from TJs in here. :)

13) Shapes garland in pinks. (image: loveology; I adjusted the hues in this photo to be pinks, because I could not find an all pink shapes garland! But the original photo is in beautiful full color, go checkit!)

14) Ombre Tiered Dress in pink cameo from baby GAP.

15) Peonies in varying pinks; I might also do ranunculus. (image: Pinterest; it has been credited to OnceWed but I can’t find this specific image. I’ll update here if I ever find it, and please let me know if you have any info!)

16) Sueded-Metallic Color Block Sandals in coral sizzle from Old Navy.

The party will be this Saturday in our house apartment which I’m excited but very nervous about, as it is the first time we’ve really thrown a party at our house apartment, and we don’t even have a yard patio! For this reason I kept the guest list pretty small, although my inclination was to invite all of my friends that I haven’t seen in a while who have new babies. BABIES! So we figured this will be a bit of a test run for future parties. We’re going to start small, and hopefully it doesn’t get too overwhelming here with just family and the BFFs. It will be fine, right? I’m re-arranging furniture to fit things. I want to live large in my tiny place! If it goes well, then the there. will. be. more. parties! :)

Today we are taking Laelia to Disneyland, and we are going to buy her a balloon and some cotton candy and that mickey-spiney thingie she always wants but we never buy her! I’ll probably post some pics so stay tuned! :)


A Laelia Outfit #31; Easter!

A Laelia Outfit #31; Easter!

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday and I’m only just now getting to this post. Such is life!

Dress: Janie and Jack
Cardigan: Lucky Brand
Glasses: Circo
Shoes: baby GAP

And now for a few instagrams from our little Easter egg hunt! She was the only kid, so we stashed the eggs three times for her. Now I hide them in the house a few times a day, and she spends time collecting them (amongst other household items) in her basket. Later, she seems to spend hours arranging items in her basket just right… Hmmm. She reminds me of someone…. ~.^


Welcome to Visual Vocabularie! My name is Jesyka, and I am a designer, artist, mom to Laelia and Luca, wife to software engineer and UX designer Tyler, coffee lover, and all around enthused person. This is my blog; here I share my personal projects, whether it's a furniture makeover, a new painting, a birthday party, an invitation I designed, or a favorite outfit for my little. You’ll also catch a glimpse into our family life in Los Angeles.

Popular Tutorials

  • Pinwheel Tutorial

  • Tissue Tassel Garland

  • Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains

  • Ikea Mini Kitchen Makeover


Link with Love

You are free to pin to pinterest, or post my photos on your blog, but please give proper credit to my full name Jesyka D’Itri Marés (I know, I know, it's not the easiest name!), and you link back either the home page of this website, or the permalink of the original post (although, I'm sure your followers will thank you for the permalink!). I would LOVE to know if you enjoy my work enough to share it, so please don’t be shy and drop me an email!