October 30, 2011

just tired: one sunday

tovi spent the day with one of his best friend's down near LA
i could have gone, of course, but it just seemed like so much work

so cruz and i stayed home and i told myself that we would have a really fun 
mother-son day

but i just couldn't do it

after church, cruz took a three-hour nap
i wrote
watched the project runway finale
ate a cupcake
swept the floor for the bajillionth time this week

i laid down for a nap
which is right when he woke up of course

i tried to rally myself
mother-son time! i thought

just couldn't do it

i felt tired and lonely and worn out and for the love if another cheerio gets ground into my floor!

we'll walk to the farmer's market i told myself
we'll nosh on the samples and i'll buy one cool thing for dinner

but first, it was time to eat a snack outside
because seriously, if i have to sweep one more time today

(new rule: we're only eating outside from now on)

guess what?
there's was no farmer's market today.

we walked to the park and i let cruz get dirtier than he's ever been. 

i felt so down and unworthy
i want every moment of his life to be perfect
and full of love
and laughter
and beautiful moments

but some days i'm just tired

i watched cruz watching the airplanes fly overhead

"lord" i prayed
"today i feel empty and alone.
even with cruz next to me.
even when i know you are beside me.
wash over me.
consume me.
let me not get caught up in my own self, looking inwards
instead of up to you.
you know what i need.
and i am not alone."

and lord, you overwhelmed my life
and picked me up when i was tired
and reminded me that my strength does not come 
from me but you

that not every moment will be perfect
not every day filled with laughter
but they'll be filled with love

thank you for not expecting perfection 
or great photography skills
or a clean house

and i'm not alone
i am still tired

October 29, 2011


Cruz keeps picking up new words, and it occurred to me the other day that I should write these down. 
In no particular order:

Uh-oh... Cruz used this word indiscriminately at first, but since he likes to throw and drop everything, we've had many, many, many opportunities to practice it and now he uses "uh-oh" in context. Ok, in context about 50% of the time. 
Whoa... this word is the ladykiller. It is charming and full of wonderment. Just imagine hearing "whoaaa" in front of you in the grocery line. You would die! He sounds exactly like a little surfer dude. 
Oh... this word is best used during our "Single Ladies" sing-a-longs. Oh oh oh, oh oh oh. 
Mama... this does not mean Mama, it means more. In his tiny baby brain, he has associated "mama" with giving him stuff. This is not a good precedent. 
Dada... yes, good for you. He says "dada" perfectly.
Nya... this means no. How did he learn this word? Why is he not repeating all the positive messages I give him? 
Bubba... we call him Bubs and Bubba around the house, so it's pretty cute that this is one of his first words. 
Ball... this is a helpful word for playing with Abby.
Vovo... Vovo is Portuguese for 'Grandpa.' My kid is bilingual, yet refuses to say 'mama.' I tell you..!
Nana... banana.
Nini... Auntie Ani.
Coco... Auntie Colette. (The rest of you need names that are easier to pronounce, I guess)
Dahdee... doggie.
Aaaabba... Abby.

I will tell you this, my baby loves words and books and it couldn't make me more proud.

October 26, 2011

What He Wore on Wednesday

Neither Cruz nor I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning.
It took us awhile to get going.
Me: two glasses of lemon water, breakfast and some dance numbers in the kitchen.
Cruz: A whole banana and some kitchen pilfering. 

Cruz rocked one of the new birthday shirts from his Gram B.

One of the best parts of having a personal training studio in your home is that there is always something to entertain the baby.

Watching the airplaines go by...

All smiles

Before bed, Cruz rocks some striped jammies and a comb-over.

Saying night-night to Dada!

And night-night to you!

October 24, 2011

mostly about food

this blog post has started and stopped at least five times.
cruz is freshly in bed, burgers are sizzling on the stove, and i have writer's block.
writer's impatience.
or a series of tweets rather than a coherent thought longer than 140 characters:

we went to the pumpkin patch twice!

cruz loves to eat seaweed. #weirdkid #suchahipster

i haven't watched real housewives in at least a month. #mazel #questionmark

but tonight i want something more. i want to hear my fingers tapping quickly across keys. i want smartfunnyheartwarmingprofound thoughts to appear on this white page. 

i want to write something true. 

our new nephew was born early early early this morning and my arms are already aching to hold him. he is precious and alert and tovi and i have argued over which of his parents he looks like.
 thinking about babies got me thinking about food (doesn't it always?).
when cruz was a few hours fresh into the world, my friend sarah brought me a chocolate bundt cake. i think she brought flowers too, but the cake is what i remember. tovi tried to eat some, but i have never wanted to share less in my life. later that afternoon, andrea drove up from san diego, bringing four perfect birthday cupcakes. 
the parade of meals continued day after day for weeks. lovely women showing up around 5:30pm, pulling out steaming bowls of rice, chicken, salad and bags of cookies from reusable grocery bags. i answered the door in my yoga pants and the black maternity sweatshirt borrowed from my sister-in-law (and never returned! sorry about that, em). cruz would be asleep in my arms or rocking in the swing. nervously, i showed him off. "am i doing this right?" i thought, every single time. "she knows i'm not. she can see right through me."
bringing home a baby was such an overwhelming time, but having these angelic cooks parade through my life, scoop cruz up in their arms, telling me that i looked great, he was great, it will all be fine was a balm. i was so fed in that season. 
it is the kind of thankfulness that i don't know how to repay. there isn't a meal that i've forgotten, by the way. my mom's pork chops with apple. heather's enchiladas with my favorite corn salsa. carrie's chili. judy's chocolate chip cookies. tovi would stash snacks and water bottles around the house so that i would have something to eat at a moment's notice. ashley showed up at the hospital with a bag of groceries for us to restock our fridge. 
bite after bite, love after love.

one year later and i am reaping the harvest. 

October 22, 2011

How to Change a One Year Old

I remember when we were still in the hospital, I was afraid to change Cruz's diaper. He was so small and what if he moved?
I think Tovi handled all diaper changes for the first two weeks. Like a champ.
But soon it was just Cruz and I at home and we figured it out. 

But turning one is a game changer
and the old rules of diaper changing no longer apply. 
Here are some helpful tips, from me to you.

1. Have you ever watched some poor mother change her wiggly baby? Maybe the baby was standing up? Arching his back? Did you think to yourself, my baby will never do that? I'll be awesome.
Let's pause right here and throw those thoughts out.
You will be that mom. 

2. Now that we've disabused ourselves of those old notions, it's time to talk about safety.
We live in a very safety-conscious society.
For example, our stroller was recently recalled because there was a flap of fabric on the canopy that some enterprising babies were able to rip off and put in their mouths.
It took me about two seconds to remove the fabric, but I got to thinking:
If I petitioned for a recall of every item my child put into his mouth that was not baby-friendly, it would literally be a full-time job. 

We were talking about diaper changing?
Diaper changing pads come with a safety strap.
I suppose you snap it on and the baby stays on securely?

I like to play a game in which I strap Cruz in and then count how many seconds it takes for him to flip around and struggle off the pad.

One one thousand...

3. Which brings me to the next point:
Girlfriend, improve your reflexes!
I have literally snatched Cruz out of the air as he dive-bombed the floor.
It was traumatic and hilarious at the same time.

4. Clear yo' schedule. 
Chasing a half-diapered baby down the hallway? You can't rush that magic. 

October 19, 2011

What He Wore On Wednesday

Hello, Wednesday.

Hello, outdoors time.

When your baby puts everything (eh-vreey-thing) in his mouth, outdoors time can be a challenge.
If you were my neighbor over the fence, you would hear, "Don't it eat. That's a leaf. Don't it eat"
for thirty minutes straight.
But I believe in getting Cruz outside
Even if it's a total pain for me. 
(full disclosure: my mom had to bribe me to spend time outdoors. I earned a sticker for 15 minutes of playing in the yard, all going towards purchasing a new book. So I could spend time inside reading)

Hello, stripes and big eyes.
I have been waiting for Cruz to fit this shirt!
A present from his ever-stylish Auntie Co, of course.
She understands about stripes.

Hello, exploration time while mommy works. 

Hello, bedtime. 
I had different jammers picked out for tonight, but Stripes, I just can't quit you.

Goodnight, reader

October 17, 2011

Cruz Justin is Turning One!

Let's be honest, I have been planning this birthday party for for-e-ver.

A few months ago, I started tossing out theme ideas to Tovi. Then we had the following conversation:
Me: I think we could do a circus or carnival theme. Something vintagey. With animals.
Tovi: Yeah, but what does Cruz like?
Me: Um... the dog?

And Puppy Birthday Party was born.

I had big ideas, detailed ideas, ideas that got tossed at the last minute.
Throughout the process, I had to be mindful that this party wasn't about looking good or perfect or detailed.
It was about Cruz (hello!), celebrating our first year as parents, and thanking the incredible friends and family that have supported and encouraged us during his first year of life.
And in the end, the party felt like the perfect intersection of time, creativity, fun, budget, and Pinterest.

The Details:
pictures of Cruz from 1-12 months

birthday printable via eighteen25.blogspot.com

dog bone-shaped sugar cookies
cupcake toppers-- this is probably the pinnacle of my creativity!

dessert table
The People:

Thanks guests! You all matched the party perfectly!

Auntie Em and Cousin Andersen came to visit

Birthday boy and Uncle Jorn



The Birthday Boy:

Making a wish

So unsure about the cupcake, but I like the face-first style

Love these boys!!!!

We are beyond thankful to our friends and family who came to celebrate with us! We had a blast with you and hope you did too. 

October 12, 2011

What He Wore on Wednesday

Last night we had Too Much Birthday and the evening ended in a meltdown.
So believe me I was excited to see this happy face in the morning.

Guys, that is the face of a toddler! 
And the drool of a champion!

When Cruz woke up from his nap, he had all his pacis, but no pants.

He's getting so good at sharing.

It was {hot} today!
I am so ready for fall but it was in the 90s.
Sweaty, sweaty baby.

At least Cruz can keep wearing his whale shirt.

Stripes + love

October 11, 2011


Birthday bawling.

Birthday boy.

Biscuits and bananas for birthday breakfast.

Birthday balloons.

Birthday box of crayons.

Becca and birthday baby bonding in the bathroom.

Busy birthday Bubs. 

October 10, 2011

Hey, It's OK...

+ It's OK if your baby is on the skinny side. In an average two hour period, I will nurse Cruz twice, feed him a plate-sized waffle, a tray full of Joe's Os, and a sippy full of whole goat milk. He is still not gaining weight. At this point, it just is what it is. So what if we know 6 month old babies bigger than him!

+ It's OK if you've ever picked a piece of cheese or a forgotten Cheerio out from under your baby's neck and snacked on it because the trash can was too far away. It's just too far away!

+ It's OK if your baby doesn't sleep through the night. And by "your" I mean "our." Guess what, world? Losing some sleep every night is fine. It's annoying, but not worth the pity or, frankly, the sleep training it would take to get Cruz to sleep for twelve hours without waking. Have I ever played the victim for not getting enough sleep? I apologize. We're fine. He's fine. Waking up in the middle of the night is fine.

+ It's OK if you leave the baby in the crib after his nap because he's happy and you're reading a great book.

+ It's OK if you haven't interviewed at preschools yet. Actually, that's on my to-do list for next week. But still. I think it's OK.

+ It's OK if nothing in your real house looks like your dream house on Pinterest. 

+ It's OK if you {I} don't fit into your {my} pre-baby clothes. Might never again. You {you!} are welcome to come over and raid my closet at any time. For realsies. 

+ It's OK if you count the drive to and from Homegroup as a date. 

+ It's OK if you vowed that your Facebook posts wouldn't be taken over by baby. And then you had a baby and posting about him completely took over. I mean, you have a baby. That's what you're doing. Would it be better to post about politics? I didn't think so. It's also OK if you don't have a baby and you think it's annoying. You'll be there someday. Or you'll post about your dog a lot. We all have our thing. 

+ It's OK if all you want in life is to look like Tami Taylor. 

hey, y'all...

+ It's OK to LOVE waking up a sleeping baby. In fact, I'm going to do it right now. Bye!

October 7, 2011

a couple of best friends

Bringing something or someone new into your home is terrifying and exhilarating, all wrapped up in one.
Deciding to bring a 12 week old puppy into our newlywed nest was exciting, quickly followed by
what have we done?
We couldn't be as free and easy as we'd been.
Now we had something to go home to.
Something that needed to go out in the middle of the night.
We couldn't just leave for the weekend on short notice.
And to top it off, we had willingly introduced poop-scooping into our lives.
It's a good thing she's cute, we said to each other in exasperation.

But then Abby became the sweetest pup to ever be man's best friend. 
Loyal and friendly. Playful and snuggly. We couldn't have dreamed up a better dog.
So what did we do?

We upset the balance.

We brought a baby into the equation and for awhile, we thought we had destroyed it all.
For many months, the babe and the dog ignored each other, and everything was peaceful.
Abby was walked less, and that hurt our hearts, but we knew that someday it would get better.

Then Cruz began to notice Abby.
And I mean really notice her.
The second he was mobile, all he wanted to do was love on our dog.
By love on, I of course mean, chew on her leg, pull her hair, gouge out her eyes.

She would lay on the ground, plaintively looking up at me.
She became lethargic and mopey. She started sleeping in new corners of the house in an attempt to get away from the baby.

I was terrified that we had lost our darling puppy.
What had we done?

I don't know when it happened, but one day I caught Abby licking Cruz's face.
He giggled and tried to run away.

Later, she brought him a toy and he tried to eat it.

Slowly but surely, they have become best friends.
Proving that what was once terrifying, can become lovely.

{Lovely, and also germ-infested. Yes, they are sharing a paci.}

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