February 28, 2012

about lions

before i get into the main part of the post, i want to give you a little glimpse into our family. i think this will really help you see the kind of mom and wife and cook i am:

every time i get out a pan to cook something, cruz cocks his head to the side and asks, "waffle?" 
he's on to me. 


this is a post about lions.

when baby e was nineteen weeks along in my tummy, we found out that he was a boy.
after the doctor's appointment, we went out to dinner, clutching an envelope that held either "it's a boy!" or "it's a girl!"
we ordered, made our final predictions ("girl." "definitely a girl."), broke open the seal, and saw "it's a boy" typed a thousand times.

after we ate (i, of course, had my daily pregnancy bacon cheeseburger) we walked to nordstrom and bought this sweet lion; our first baby purchase.

he sat in the corner of the crib and i would glance at him from time to time to remind myself that this little boy was coming.

cruz didn't pay attention to the lion at first.

but now the lion is what it is all about.
he comes with us every where.
the first words we hear cruz say in the morning are "wuhlie? wuhlie!" 
(cruz-lation: lion)
i even keep "small lion" in my purse because you never know when you will come across another wuhlie and need a way to prevent a meltdown. 
cruz can find a lion anywhere! we read books about lions, do puzzles with lions, watch clips of elmo dancing with lions. 

cruz wants wuhlie to eat all meals with him.
this morning i explained that wuhlies eat meat in the wild and don't necessarily want to share his breakfast banana. 
i don't think this will be our last conversation on the eating habits of lions. 

February 22, 2012


i've woken cruz up from a nap. he's flushed and fussy. 
holding his lion, he waddles over to the gate at the top of our stairs, looks back at me, signs for milk.
"yes," i say. "come here. we'll put on your pants and then go downstairs."
he starts to cry. his hands sign furiously.
"dow'staihs!" he cries. "mil'!"
"yes," i repeat. "let's put on pants first, and then we'll go downstairs."

he bursts into real tears and wanders away from my sight. 

i find him in the office, crying, and trying to grab something from tovi's desk.
"there's no milk here, baby. we need to put on pants and then go downstairs. come with me."

tears are rolling down his cheeks as i scoop him up, put his pants on, and carry him downstairs. 


thank you, Lord, for the patient way you love me. 
you call me to you and i wander away.
you find me in dark places and carry me close. 

February 18, 2012

big walker

of all the baby stages i have looked forward to, walking is my favorite.
older women in the grocery store check-out line told me that when cruz walked, i would wish for him to crawl again. 
so let me tell you this right now:
I. Love. Walking.

when cruz wakes up from his afternoon nap and we don't have anywhere to rush off to and the weather is just right, we walk through the park to the nature trail. 
this is my favorite time of day because we have no agenda and 
we wander the path in any direction we choose. 
cruz picks up each tiny rock and wants to cram them all in his small fists.
when there's no one else on the trail, we get really quiet, sit on the ground, and listen to birds and dogs. 
i can't wait to show him the bunnies that live in deep under the bushes, and who come out only at dusk.
there are yellow flowers and purple flowers and white flowers. 

it is an unremarkable, uneventful walk but it is beauty like i never imagined.
watching tiny steps where there used to be crawls.
finding small flowers hidden under plants and peekaboo played with large maple leaves.
like adam in the garden, cruz points and gives everything a name. 
wowwa. nant. puppy. 'tick. 

it won't always be this quiet.
it won't always be just the two of us.
he won't always asked to be carried when he gets tired and one day he will be simply too big for my arms. 

walking together, step by tiny step, i am full and satisfied. 

February 13, 2012


so far there is much to love about toddlerhood and a lot to laugh about as well.
in addition to his charming vocabulary and endearing just-off-a-horse walk, cruz has been working some typical diva toddler behaviors. 

+ a lot of parenting seems to be about framing situations the right way. when possible and appropriate, we let cruz make choices. we take turns. we encourage him to take ownership and we give ourselves enough time to make this all happen. 
but sometimes it just doesn't work like that.
yesterday we were getting ready for church, running late, and i was in a prickly mood.
cruz likes to help comb his hair. on a regular day, he has one comb, i have the other and we take turns.
but yesterday... wasn't going to happen.
i combed his hair and shouldn't have been surprised when he started hollering at me to give him the comb.
usually when cruz throws a tantrum, i don't react and walk away. (sorry, french moms, i'm not going to abandon my child in the street to teach him a lesson about crying.) (i kid! i kid! french moms probably abandon their children in the louvre or a lavandar field in provence.) 
anyhow, cruz got wise to me.
before i could exit the room, he stomped over to the door, slammed it, trapping me in there with him.
"oh you're going to let me cry it out, huh? how do you like me now, woman?"

+ cruz's favorite things to point out to me are cars, stars, and lights. if he starts finding limos, champagne, and auto-tuned microphones, i'll know things have gone too far.

+ after months of peacefully saying "bye-bye" to his pacifier every morning, cruz wised up to the fact that pacis don't go "bye-bye," because they're still in the crib. now i hide them under blankets while he cries "yasssseeee! yasssseeee!" this morning i was grabbing the blankets when i discovered cruz has a little secret stash of his own: pretzels in the crib.

and as it turns out, cruz is not the only rockstar in the house.

+ while i got ready this morning, cruz hung out in our bedroom, paging through the latest entertainment weekly (naturally). "dada! dada!" he started saying. i peeked back to see what he was looking at:

fair enough, cruz. fair enough.

{one of these guys is adam levine from maroon 5}

February 8, 2012

just you and me and us

i don't know about you, but somedays it seems to me like i'm always doing it wrong. 
you wouldn't know it from seeing my child.
i don't think my friends and family would say that i'm doing it wrong, at least not to my face.

but lately it seems that every parenting article i come across tells me so.

i am not anxious enough about my child's safety.
i am too anxious and that's probably rubbing off on him. 
why am i not letting my child graze on snacks all day?
oh, because he's only supposed to have three squares.
let your children run free!
i mean, give them a lot of structure!
for the love... you haven't done valentine's day crafts yet???

after two days of reining in a fussy toddler, i'm done worrying about cnn or babble thinks of my parenting skills. 

less worrying about what the media thinks, more cradling cups of tea in my hands, spending the afternoon with new friends. more walks with other moms, our strollers taking over the sidewalks. sharing life and meals with those i love best, and raising this precious baby in the midst of all this life. 

more snuggles, pacis, reading books in the middle of the night because that's just what we're going to do.

yesterday i almost printed out a mom of the year award for myself when i found a youtube clip of elmo with wild animals. teething tears turned into yelps of ecstasy. "e'mo! ti'ter! yiyon! eee eee aaa ooo ooo!"

i'm sure those fabulous french moms would never stoop to that, but i wouldn't change that moment for the world. i'm mommying my way now. 

February 4, 2012

thoughts at the end of the week

+ my darling boy demands to be outside every waking moment. just for some family context, when i was a child, my parents bribed me to go outside with a sticker chart that earned me more books. books that i read inside. 

+ i have a problem that pinterest has been unable to solve: i put my pantry items in cute glass canisters and mason jars. it looks great! but then what do i do with the small remaining bit of flour at the bottom of the bag? anyone?

+ i dare you to read you are special outloud to someone you love without choking up. dare. you. 

+ i've been thinking a lot about love, which is fairly understandable considering that valentine's day is right around the corner. when cruz was dedicated we choose this as his verse:

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

as i think about God's love and my response to it, i'm beginning to suspect that i am simply wading in the shallows, ignorant of its depths. 

+ speaking of love, this is love: tovi got up with cruz this morning, let me sleep for another hour, then woke me up with an omelet made just the way i like it-- with cinnamon sugar.  

+ aside from our political disagreements, my friend meredith is right about everything . two things that she's been right about lately: downton abbey and sleeping with your hair in a bun to prolong your blowout. 

+picture time!

February 1, 2012

What He Wore On Wednesday

the theme of the day seems to be speed
first i caught him reading

hanna andersen jammies are back at costco!
then he caught me sneaking up 

"Oh, is that the camera I see?"
"I'll run over and grab it."
"Close-ups are the best."
someone taught cruz how to say "outside," so after breakfast he banged on the back door chanting "outside! outside!" until i relented. 

here we are, all bundled up and ready to play.

cruz was excited to see the flowers in our yard, so we took an impromptu walk around the cul de sac so that he could see our sweet neighbor's garden.

oh, did you want to know what i wore during this walk?

bringing. sexy. back. 

after lunch we were back outside, this time playing in the dirt.

please make sure that you see the giant drool stain on his very cute truck shirt.

new outfit time!

whenever he spends the afternoon with tovi, cruz ends up in an athletic outfit lifting weight. 

happy wednesday!

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