July 27, 2011

What He Wore On Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, Cruz Lovers!
Take a gander at this young man.

So big, right?

I just love this early morning light.

Cruz loves reading his books.
And by reading, of course, I mean flipping through the pages energetically and occasionally giving them a loving chomp.

Cruz has learned how pull himself up.
I love that I caught this moment.

"Whoa! What's back here?"

"Let me get a little closer..."

"I'm awesome."

Enjoying a pre-bedtime wrestle.


let me pause this moment

please, let me pause this moment
when your spills can be cured with a kiss
when whatever i'm doing is what you want to do too
when i keep you away from the dog's water bowl
before i have to keep you away from scary things like drugs or the internet
or bieber fever

let me pause this moment because
you are curious rather than cynical
because everyone you meet is a friend
because i am your favorite person in the world
simply because i am
your mother and through
no achievement of my own

let me pause this moment because
you taught yourself to climb stairs but
you are slow enough for me to catch you first
because you still take three naps a day
and you eat whatever i put in front of you

let me pause this moment
because every day you are more precious and
more loved and i am afraid
that one day my heart
will simply

July 24, 2011

feeling a little tender

hey guys, this blog post is going to be about nursing!
nursing? you say. back it up, girlfriend. i'm not nursing/pregnant/a woman/interested.
but guess what? i reply.
someday you or someone you love will be.
and then you'll wish you had read this.
you're welcome.

i will be the first to tell you that nursing is not easy.
in the hospital, i tracked down every staffer possible and asked them to watch cruz nurse.
even some interns.
even perhaps the guy who brings the food.
in the hospital, cruz seemed to eat like a champ and everyone was generally pleased with his progress.

at home, i kept a stack of nursing books by my side and vastly appreciated the presence of my lactation consultant mother.
and guess what? it was still hard!
so hard that cruz went about 24 hours without eating anything. and that was before i ever noticed that we were having problems. 
yup. it's that hard.

here are a couple of things i didn't expect:
  • the pain. oh the toe-curling pain!
  • the constant need for snacks
  • the absolute frustration of not being able to feed your baby correctly
  • the nursing and poop tracking charts that the hospital sent home with us. who knew you needed to write this stuff down? 
and one more:
  • i absolutely fell in love with nursing. love it. it is unlike anything else i have ever done in my life.
cruz and i have had our share of problems in our nursing relationship, but overall i have felt strongly that most mamas and babies will be able to nurse as long as they want to with the appropriate support (casual and professional) and education. 
i have planned to nurse cruz for a long time and have felt so good about that decision.

until recently.
cruz is popping in four teeth at a time, and as babies are wont to do, he wants to bite.
bite chew chomp gnaw
while we nurse he bites me until i bleed. 
every. single. time.

remember that stack of nursing books i own?
i have tried every anti-biting suggestion.
i have called la leche league.
i have talked to many many mamas.
our lactation consultant told me i had the hardest (haha, we're still laughing, right?) case of biting she had ever seen.
our pediatrician finally asked me to take a nursing vacation for three days.
if that didn't break his biting habit, i would pump for as long as possible, and we would start formula if necessary.

there have been a lot of tears over this.
cruz has cried too.
i don't really know why i've been so emotional over the potential end of nursing.
it will end someday.
before he goes to college, right?
i've been worried about the loss of those sweet, peaceful moments.
(well, the moments when i'm not nursing while watching Real Housewives)
i've been worried that my baby son won't really be a baby anymore.
So big and independent!

ok, guys. the truth is that while things change, i won't lose the connection with my son
(at least until he's a surly teenager).
clearly mamas don't need to nurse to bond with their babies.
i'm just feeling raw and vulnerable and you can just imagine how i feel when things don't go according to my plan. 
so can i ask you for a favor?
if you had trouble nursing or bottle fed or weaned earlier than you had planned, would you mind giving me some advice about how it went for you?
or maybe just some encouragement in general that we get back in our normal groove?
were you emotional about weaning or am i just crazy?

July 20, 2011

What He Wore On Wednesday

Wednesday, Friendsday!
You know, somedays we spend a lot more time in our jammies than I would like to admit.
But who cares when the jams are Dragons Making S'mores Jams?
That's what I thought.
Here's Cruz, looking like a scholar in his rugby shirt.
(Rand, you are rubbing off on him!)

And oh yeah!
We're crawling.
With that comes a whole host of new challenges.
And also, let's be honest, some delightful moments. Poor, sweet Abby...

Cruz is taking an afternoon rest with his sippy. Such a big boy!

Okay, I honestly don't know what I buy this baby any toys. He loves playing with everything in our kitchen!

Angel baby. 
Cruz and I have been having a rough week together, but moments like these just melt my heart
 and keep me encouraged.

Love and blessings,

July 18, 2011

life and Life.

Tovi, Cruz, and I just returned from a weekend in Monterey celebrating our
birthday (his)
anniversary (ours)
birthday (mine).
Totally fun. 

It was a weekend that was full of joy and happy accidents, but absolutely tinged with grief.
We found out that a friend and former roomie of mine passed away after a long struggle with pulmonary hypertension.
Katie, there is no one I know that lived with such a zest for life. 
Your exuberance was matched only by your desire to be with Jesus.
From the amount of times I walked into our room to hear,
"Darling! Don't worry; I'm just studying naked in my bed!"
I know you're pretty stoked to be living in the Garden right now. 
You absolutely taught me to live everyday with celebration and reckless joy. 
Thank you.

And while I spent a lot of the weekend with tears in my eyes, here is some of our joy.
At our anniversary dinner! Five years of marriage!

Cruz was excited too.

Of course I found the most nautical spot in the playground.

Family picture. 

My favorite part of the picture is the foot descending down the ladder.
That kid was not going to wait for us.

We drove 17 Mile Drive to try and get Cruz to nap.
The drive was amazing and clearly he is awake.

We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and I totally nerded out over the jellies and sunfish.
Should've brought along my marine science species cards (which I still have, y'all).

We took this picture to show how tall Cruz is.
But really it just shows how short I am. 

I hope that whatever you are doing today is full of joy and celebrates the small everyday moments of life. 

July 13, 2011

What He Wore On Wednesday

Good morning, Wednesday Fans!
Somedays I ask myself, "self, what did you ever do without puffs?"
We had a pajama puff picnic this morning.
It has been so much fun to see Cruz gaining independence!
Cruz absolutely loved music class, although he looks ready for a nap here. He loved the guitar, the clapping, the harmonica... and the teacher's shoelaces.
I loved his motorcycle outfit. Thanks for sharing, Rand!
We have a crawler!
Here Cruz makes a bid for freedom.
And alllll tuckered out in his dino jams.

July 12, 2011

An Open Letter to Pacific View Mall

Dear Pacific View Mall,

I owe you a big apology.

Maybe it was your many, many teeney bopper stores. 
Maybe it was the men who work the kiosks in the middle-- I just don't have time to try all the Dead Sea Salt hand scrubs.
Definitely it was the food court. I think we outlawed food courts in Santa Barbara.

I don't know why I didn't love you with my whole heart, but I had a wall up.
Clearly, after today, I see that it was me, not you.

Today we had a connection.
Today you had a Target and an Old Navy in the same mall
Today you had a platoon of high chairs in the food court.
Today you had stroller parking.
Today you offered me not one, but two private nursing rooms.
And when my squiggly baby needed to blow off some steam, you provided us with a kiddie play area. 
I guess I'm not one of those germaphobe moms... 

What can I say?
Forever yours,

July 8, 2011

too tired to think up a title

Cupcakes are in the oven, glass of pinot next to me.
Have mercy, having a baby is exhausting.
This is a different kind of tired than newborn exhaustion.
That was how-hungry-can-one-baby-be tired.
This is how-much-does-he-need-to-eat

And there's only one of him.

Jewels in your crown, mamas of many babies.

In other news, Cruz's doctor thinks I am a far better (cooler?) mama than I actually am.
At our appointment today, she mentioned things like,
"Keep up the signing"
"Lentils are best when you soak them overnight"
"Do you feed him kale? He'll love that."
But I heart her with all of my pediatrician loving heart.
She squealed over his knee chub,
gave him the best shot of his life (not even a blink from him!),
and pronounced him a blessing and perfect gift from God.

Which he is. 

July 6, 2011

What He Wore On Wednesday

Somedays it would just be cruel to take a picture first thing in the morning.
This was one of those mornings.

I think my little guy is cutting a top tooth.
{At least, I sure hope he is.}
How can I tell?
His hands are in his mouth all day long.
And oh the drool.

Why yes that is a pool of drool in front of Cruz.
In baby fashion news, I can't get enough plaid shorts. Love 'em!

And just like that, it was bedtime.
Cruz is learning how to wave. Precious, right?
Hm. Striped jammies.
You never saw that coming, did you?
Goodnight, Cruz fans!

July 1, 2011

Finding Love: I Will Never Feel Fully Comfortable in Anthropologie Again

My husband takes fantasy sports very seriously.
(Can I get an amen and a sympathetic eye roll from the rest of the wives in the League?)
I used to joke with him that someday I would go into labor and he would have to choose-- football draft or hospital.
I was slightly nervous about this choice.
Earlier in my pregnancy I reminded him that the league's basketball draft was normally mid-October, right before two of the wives were due.
So they moved up the draft.
Ha. Haha.
The weekend before the baby was born-- at our five year college reunion!

On October 10, the boys held their basketball draft while the girls and I went shopping downtown. Baby E (as he was known at the time) was due in twelve days.
I think we all know how this is going to end. 

It's any modern girl's dream: I went into labor while shopping at Anthropologie.
My girlfriends were looking around while I sat through my contractions on one of those cute vintage-y chairs no one ever sits on.
And now no one ever will.
(Hey-- did you guys end up buying anything? There was a lot of cute stuff there last fall.)
We cut our shopping trip short when I could no longer walk through the contractions and started needing other people to make decisions for me. 
It actually turned out to be a great rest of the afternoon!
Colette picked up Blenders for us. 
We snuggled in the guest bedroom while the guys finished up their draft.
 I timed my contractions on my iphone, while we watched Jerseylicious. 
It was great, you know, except for the rising panic that WE WERE ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY.

Somehow, on the day the baby is born, nine months doesn't seem like quite enough time to get ready.
Well, we weren't ready. I wasn't ready.
I didn't really have a bag packed and certainly didn't have a music playlist together like I had planned on.
(Incidentally, if a playlist on your ipod helped you through labor, I would like to talk with you.)

After our guests left ("We'll call you from the hospital!" we joked, still a little bit in denial), I waddled downstairs and sat on the couch, very helpfully.
I felt the need to be very calm, very controlled, and to keep timing those contractions.
Several hours passed like this, I'm sure, because we didn't leave for the hospital until about 7pm, after my contractions had been five minutes apart since about 3:00.
But I remember very little.
Abby is mere hours away from becoming a big sister, whether she likes it or not.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, I was not convinced that I was actually in labor. 
I kept delaying leaving the house, totally hung up about having a "false alarm" at the hospital. 
So, friends-- do not be hung up about going to the hospital if you suspect you may be in labor. The nurses will be really nice to you and you will probably get a popsicle for your pains.
(And by pains, I do mean the five exams you'll undergo to see if you are dilated.)

Tovi got my bag packed and convinced me that there was no shame in doing a "trial run." 
That the worst that could happen would be that we would come home, no one needed to know that we were going to the hospital, and that I could even take the next day off work if I was still having contractions.

Pat Abby goodbye.
Waddle, waddle out to the car.
Snuggle into my pillow through each contraction.
Here we go.

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