May 30, 2011

How Many Teeth Do They Actually Need?

It is beginning to feel as if meu filho is cutting roughly 19 thousand teeth.
Mostly between the hours of 3-6am, doncha know that's the very best tooth cutting time, mom?

We have piles and piles of great teethers in this house.
But what would my son rather chew on?
I'll tell ya.

My empty VitaRain bottle.
All the equipment in our personal training studio.
The coffee table.
The dining table.
The edge of the high chair.
The strap of the car seat.
The straps on his overalls.
Soccer balls that belong to the dog.
The dog.

Jewels in your crown, Abby. Jewels in your crown.

May 26, 2011

The Ol' Switcheroo

Dear Friends, 
As a young girl, I was once asked to make a collage of a food group.
Nursery school style, that's how I roll.
I made one of chocolate (to my mama's extreme embarrassment, I am sure).
People, I lead a meat and carb happy lifestyle. I've been to South America! 
Rice, beans, chicken and some cake for dessert?
Wash it all down with a Fanta?
Muita obrigado, I think I will.
I don't do fruit.

It has become startlingly clear to me that Cruz eats better than I do.
Here is what he ate today:
mango, bananas, applesauce, carrots, sweet potatoes.

Want to know what he doesn't like?
In college I could eat cereal three meals a day without batting an eye.
Blonde hair, blue eyes, average build, no cereal... whose kid is this?
So I've done what every enterprising mama has done since the dawn of time... I sneak it in.
This morning as Cruz ate his banana (with hidden oatmeal), I eyed my own bowl of oatmeal and his leftover banana puree.
No... that's crazy, right?

May 25, 2011

What He Wore On Wednesday

It seems like Wednesday was just two days ago...

Cruz usually wakes up very cheerfully. 
But not today.

I don't know what he was upset about, but it couldn't be his new monkey surfing jammies!
So... I'm trying to be conscious of the chemicals that I use in the house, especially around and for the baby.
I love fluffy, soft laundry, but have felt uncomfortable using fabric softeners, even the free and clear kind.
Yesterday I added 1/4 cup of white vinegar to his laundry, and all the clothes came out fluffier than ever.
Seriously, I use white vinegar for everything.
It always smells like Easter in my house.
(You know, like we're dying eggs with the vinegar!)
So there's your helpful hint of the day.
In other news...

How cute is this robot shirt?
Have you ever heard of
That's where we got it.
You trade boxes of used clothes with other families.
You don't know exactly what you'll be getting, but the idea is that you'll like most of it.
And I like this robot shirt and the idea that we're being green-like.
(This has turned into a more granola-y post than originally intended!)
Time to focus... babies in jammies!

Hanna Andersen jammies at Costco? Be still my beating heart.
You had me at Dragons-Going-Camping.

Since Cruz cut his first pearly white, we've been calling him Sharptooth.
Well, today, Sharptooth became Sharpteeth.
We've got two!

xoxo. Love to you all.

May 23, 2011

What He Wore Last Wednesday

Boy oh boy technical difficulties!

Can I get a "better late than never"?

Now that we're sooooo into solid foods, Cruz spends much he more time in his jammies.
Please note the banana stain on the wrist.
Also, these are some really cute crab jammies.
Cruz, someday your Auntie Ani will tell you her famous crab story...

Holy technical difficulties, Batman. 
There is a missing picture.
You know, the picture of his outfit.
"Someone" "may have" "deleted" it. "Accidently" I am sure.

Moving right along!
After his bath I like to give the baby a Cruzhawk.

And we're out.
Tovi calls these his jail jammies. 
If he's not careful, he'll be in them frogever.

May 18, 2011

Finding Love: From a Broken Heart

This post is part of the Finding Love series. Want to get caught up? Start here.

So this one time I wanted to have a baby.
And if by "one time" you mean that my earliest memories are of playing "mommy" to my dolls,
and that in high school I started thinking about jogging strollers,
and in college I worried about what I would do to love children even if I was never married,
and that I have never had a job or volunteer position that didn't have to do with kids...
then yes, this one time I wanted to have a baby. 

We had been {blissfully, thankfully} married for a few years when I began to feel le biological clock ticking. 
Friends, what I am going to tell you next is a bold confession of one of my darker moments.
A baby-shaped hole grew in my heart, and I started to fill it up with jealousy.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about the human heart's ability to hold two different emotions at the same time.
Truly, I experienced that during this season. 
I was so happy for friends who were having babies.
And I was also crushed inside.
We certainly weren't trying to have a baby; I just knew that this wasn't yet our time.
But man did I want it. I don't know that I have ever wanted something so badly.

I obeyed the Lord's call, but not with a grateful heart. 

Having a baby or being pregnant was becoming an obsession.
I spent a lot of time online reading about babies and pregnancy and nurseries. 
I cried over Facebook.
I felt very, very dark and empty.
And alone.

During this time I found myself leading a Bible study at church, on discerning God's will.
{A resounding AMEN to a God who uses us even when we are completely unworthy}
I think the Lord really wanted me in this study, so He made me a leader, knowing that I must, finally, get His message through my head and heart.
One November weekend afternoon, I was working on the study, sitting in the sun.
I found myself confessing, out loud, just how awful my heart was feeling and would He pllllleeeeease just tell me that it was time to have a baby? Right?
Dear Daughter, I heard Him say.
The sun grew warmer on my back.
"Tell me," said His voice. "Does your desire for a baby produce the fruits of the Spirit in you?"
"No!" I was sobbing at this point. "I feel dark and horrible and empty. I am supposed to be happy about babies, and instead when someone tells me they're pregnant, I cry! This jealousy is eating me alive."
"Do not fear. Wait for Tovi will tell you. You'll know it's My will because the fruits of the Spirit will fill your heart."

{A resounding AMEN to the women at Bible Study: every single one of you was a lifeline to me during this time. Your support, love, prayers, hugs and wicked sense of humor propelled me through one of the toughest seasons of my life. I love crying and then laughing until I cry again. I esteem you highly.}

Flooded by grace, heart strengthened, eyes cleared, I was prepared to wait a lot longer for our baby.
One month later, Tovi (who did not know about my backyard conversation with God) took me out to dinner. 
We ate curry in a very cold Thai restaurant
and he said,
"I think we're ready to have a baby."
The last family picture before Cruz

Here we go...

May 17, 2011

It's Me, Seven-Month Old Cruz

Oh heeeey!
Guys, being seven months old is no joke. I am one busy kid!
I like to roll, chew, eat bananas and applesauce, play with blocks, go in my walker...
I am curious about everything!!!!!
I know how to say "mama" but somehow it keeps coming out as "dada." I don't know what's up with that!

I love hanging out with my family and friends, and flirting with strangers. The ladies love me!
Oh hey, is that Abby?
My dog is my favorite. I like to chase her around the kitchen in my walker. 
And I go fast!!!!!
Did you hear about the time I rolled so much that I shut my bedroom door and locked my mama out?
My mama may have told you that she thinks I'll crawl soon. Eh, we'll see. Right now I like to roll with intention and scooch a little bit on my tummy.
But if trying to get the Wii doesn't teach me to crawl, I don't know what will!
As you can see, I have a lot to say! Here's some more:

until next month,

May 16, 2011

Guest Post: Confessions of a ...

I want to tell you about two things today.
The first is about my friend Sarah.
Sarah has taught me  that so much grace and love is available when you let your bad parts show. 
Like, she loves you even when she knows the worst thing about you.
I don't even clean when she comes over anymore.That's how convinced of her love I am.
Amy, me, Colette, Sarah 
The second thing is about confession.
Over the last seven months, I have grown to love this particular sacrament.
It is so freeing to tell the world what's really going on.
I love confession so much that I want it to be a regular part of this blog, 
and I am extending the opportunity to you!
It seemed perfectly fitting that our first guest post would be from the gal who has taught me so much about confession.
Sometimes the posts will be funny
sometimes serious
always written in truth and love.
So here's Sarah.
Sarah, thank you for being brave this morning!
Let's leave her some love in the comments, shall we?

{do you have something to confess? email me at}

for anyone who knows becca and i, you know we both enjoy a good schedule. predictability of what's next accompanied by a good organizational design which leads to an accurate set of expectations. maybe it's because we're j's but lately i've been thinking my need for a good schedule comes from my great joy in the church calendar. becca and i count down to advent like a 9 year old counts down to the double digit birthday. and lent, don't even get me started on lent. there's something so comforting about the church's seasons: advent, christmas, epiphany, lent, easter and pentecost. they happen every year, just like the year before. during advent we learn to wait. and in lent we learn about suffering. and year after year i take out my advent book or my copy of " the irrational season" (by madeline l'engle) for lent and i read about waiting and i read about suffering. and i pray, that just one of these days, i'll embrace waiting and suffering outside of advent or lent. the beauty of these two church seasons is that there is a prize at the end. the birth of our savior, the pretty lights and the gorgeous decorations. the birth of our savior. his life celebrated, year after year. we wait in anticipation and we learn to be patient. and lent, we recall jesus' suffering, sometimes partaking in our own humble, meager attempt at suffering, and we learn to be patient. but come easter sunday we get to rejoice, and take our alleluias out of their box and we are grateful for the resurrection. advent and lent remind me every november and february what i love about my mysterious lord.

but did you catch my mention of the p word? yup, that word patience which sings in my ear, day in and day out. patience is supposed to be a pretty word isn't it? its perfect pitch singing in my ear, gracefully poised, with a perfect pink bow on top. but sometimes i feel like that p word is taunting me, mocking me. surely this must be the devil masked as patience because the angel of patience is the one clothed in the pretty pink bow. but patience stares me in the face, each day causing me to partake in lent and advent all year long.

after dating jon for 3 1/2 years (insert charlotte's exclamation regarding big and carrie's engagement) he proposed. i was engaged, and becca was pregnant, and we coined our summer and fall "advent". the season of course continued for me until march, and now it's april, and i'm married, but i still find myself waiting. i'm no longer being patient. i think all day long about where we will live and when jon will be done with his huntington beach contract work. i plan, i scheme, i daydream, i get distracted easily. i dream of granite counter tops and hardwood floors. a leather couch and a long dining room table to enjoy good food and good wine with dear friends. i wait for the day that i get to come home and cook a meal for my husband. i want a schedule, people. remember, i crave that? i am not patient, i am done waiting. i'm ready for christmas and easter and i've convinced myself that i've waited so long that i deserve both the christmas tree and the easter basket in the same day. i've been so busy feeling righteous about the amount of time i've been waiting, that i forgot to pray about it even. it's ok though because i'm remembering to pray about it again, and i'm remembering that with every lent and every advent there is easter and there is christmas. they come every single time, and the lord will not disappoint on this season for me either. i love a good schedule but i'm going to keep on embracing my waiting and remember that god's work happens in all the days leading up to christmas and easter.

May 14, 2011

For the May Bride

One week.
One week left to look at seating charts, 
get your nails done,
think about your hair,
I dos.

One week.
One week until we walk down the aisle with you.
We'll stand at your side.
We'll remember our vows as we whisper along to yours.
And we promise to help you remember them too.
You won't even believe how big our smiles will be.

One week.
One week until we stop counting weeks or days or hours.
And just start living life. 
{And we can't wait to live this life with you}

One week.
One week until Ms becomes Mrs.
Until me becomes we.
Until what has been hoped for is seen.

{Hey remember when we were in college and we would eat sammies from Vons on the Biltmore wall and you'd tell me about this guy you liked? Remember how he'll be waiting for you at the end of the aisle? Love that}

May 11, 2011

What He Wore On Wednesday

Okay, this is just a sweet sight to see in the morning.
Cruz moves around in his crib so much! He's in a new position every morning.
If only we could all eat shirtless to prevent stains... 
I love this progression from bored to interested to excited.
You see, Daddy just walked into the room.
Cruz {loves} his daddy; it's a relationship that simply melts my heart.
We are trying a new thing where Cruz puts himself to sleep.
As I type this, the baby monitor has gone silent.... ahhh.

May 10, 2011

Confessions of a Jetsettin' Mama

We just returned from a long, lovely, relaxing trip to Kauai. 
As usual, I have some thoughts.

From now on, I will have to travel with an entourage. End of story. We had seven adults and two kids on our trip. Anything less would have been crazy! If we weren't in a group, who would have held the baby while I worked on my tan?

I brought along So. Many. Toys. I wanted to ensure that my kid would be properly occupied on the plane. Could have saved myself the trouble. All he wanted was the plastic cup from the flight attendant. 

Don't want to change a baby on a plane? No problem. Double stuff that diap.

Want to know how much I love Harry Potter? I set up the pack-n-play in a closet. That's how much.
Ok, it was a really big closet. And it had windows, relax! 

Traveling with a baby is really different than with just a husband. We went to London in 2009, and one of our best memories of that trip was walking around Regents Park in the pouring rain. No one else was crazy there, which made the experience unforgettable. Well, it rained plenty in Kauai, but you just can't take a baby out in a monsoon. 

If you must travel with a baby, make sure he's a really cute one. Cruz literally stopped traffic wherever we went. See, fellow airplane passengers? Babies in flight aren't so bad!

Have you been to Kauai? No? Then you might not know about the Kauai chickens. These chickens seem to run the island. They are EVERYWHERE. One day, we picked up lunch at a tiny snack shop and took it across the street to a park. I had my plate next to me, when a rooster boldly walked up and ate something straight off of it! 
I may or may not have kept eating.
Hawaiians know a thing or two about cooking ribs. 
Just sayin'.
Also, these chickens are crazy. My father-in-law was describing (in great detail, natch) how he used to kill chickens as a young boy in Brazil. Even that didn't scare them away. 

Cruz was teething on the way to Kauai, and it showed. Omg, Fussy McFussersen. I was dreading the plane ride home, but he was a De.Light. He napped. He ate. He flirted with other passengers. He had a ball trying to grap everyone's ipod cords. I love God's Creation, and even more, I love God's People. I loved sharing one small bit of that with my son this week.

Don't tell my husband, but he was right. The minivan made getting the baby in and out so easy. 

Well, with that embarrassing confession, I think our time is up!

May 6, 2011

What He Wore On Wednesday

We are having the time of our lives in Kauai!
Tovi and I love to travel. For all of you who have been wondering, yes, there is travel after baby!
It's been fun experiencing travel through Cruz's eyes.
And, obviously, his wardrobe.

Truth: I way overpacked for him. He has basically been hanging out in a onesie and diaper all week.
But you are in luck! I remembered it was Wednesday and actually put him in some outfits.

Time to wake up! Cruz has been sleeping like a champ here. He's going to be really annoying when we get home and he decides that he can only sleep with the sound of waves crashing underneath his window.
Cruz looked so cool at Waimea Canyon in his monster truck tee.
So did his dad...

But I was rocking function over fashion on Wednesday. Oh well.
Seriously, how sweet is that elephant shirt?
We came home from the Canyon and realized that Cruz had cut his first tooth!
If you are his grandma or aunt, you may want to know some additional Cruz milestones. I'll oblige.
Last week we had a check-up and Cruz is at the 50th percentile in every single category.
Blonde haired, blue-eyed, average height? Who is this kid?
{Also, he got two shots and a finger prick and kept babbling to the nurse through the whole ordeal. I love my kid}

Well, that's your little sneak peek of our trip... can't wait to share more when we get back.


May 1, 2011

Getting to Paradise

We have made it to Kaua'i!!

But before you get to enjoy Kaua'i, you must get to Kaua'i. Like an initiation. 

Maybe you had a two month old who was a champion traveler. Maybe you secretly thought that the plane ride wouldn't be so bad. Maybe you had once scoffed at parents on planes. You will regret all of those thoughts.

I will tell you this. Three hours into a six hour flight, you will let your kid do whatever he wants to do.

And if that's playing on the floor of the plane, throwing everything out of your purse in chubby delight, so be it.

You may never see your iphone again, but at least you have thirty minutes to laugh your head off reading Bossypants.

Aleady paradise.
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