Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

This labor day weekend was just what I wanted.  On Friday night, we went to this yummy organic burger place in the corporate part of Irvine.  It was inside of an office building (hard to find) but the food was good and I loved sitting outside next to pieces of art and a fountain.  We went to the District in Irvine and walked around getting gelato and chocolate dipped s’mores for dessert.  Luke belly laughed when Jered showed him a stuffed turtle, something we have been trying to get him to do for months.  His laugh is low and raspy, I didn’t expect that but I love that he sounds like an old man when he really gets going.  We came home and read stories and put Luke to sleep and watched a couple of episodes of Ancient Aliens… that show is whack.

Saturday we bumbed around the house all morning.  Finally got around to exercising at like noon and left the house after Luke had two naps making it closer to three.. I know.. lazy day.  I love those days though.  When we finally left the house, we went to Irvine park and parked like half a mile away to save $3 dollars in parking.  The plan was to go to the zoo in the park, but we didn’t get there until 4:15 and the zoo closed at 4:30.  We, of course, were too cheap to pay $4 dollars for 15 minutes of zoo entertainment, so we instead laid on the grass just outside the zoo and cooled off in the shade and talked about how whack Ancient Aliens is… is was our topic of conversation for a good 24 hours after we watched it.  After a lovely walk in the park and getting some video footage on our old school video camera we recently dug up, we walked back and decided to go to Applebees for dinner… bad choice.  I don’t remember the last time we ate at a chain restaurant and I was quickly reminded why- overpriced, greasy, tasteless food-the 2 for $20 deal lured us in.  Lesson learned.  We spend the evening at Best Buy playing their instruments with Luke and get a juice for dessert.  (we never miss desert on the weekend.)

Sunday was church and the missionaries for dinner and lots of episodes of Being Human.  A lazy but lovely day.

Today, labor day, we went to Pepe’s for lunch then to Carbon Canyon park to walk around which turned into a run at one oclock in the afternoon which almost led to heat stroke.  We went to grandma Poots for swimming and barbeque with the Robinsons.  Luke loved the pool and splashing with his twin cousins.  The hamburgers and s’mores were yummy and the company was better.  Tomorrow, everyone starts school, which means that Summer is officially over.  ☹

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A letter to my five-month-old Baby

Dear Luke,

I don’t think you will ever understand how much I love being your mama. You have made the transition into parenthood so easy for your papa and me. You are such a sweet baby and the more time that goes by, the more fun you get. Five months is my favorite age so far. You are starting to get mobile and roll around and play. You love it when we sing to you and get so excited your arms and legs flail around like crazy. You love food. Any food. You think you should be eating the same food dad and I eat. You think you should be able to drink any drink within sight. You get ticked when I don’t feed you fast enough but talk and smile and wiggle through your feedings like it’s the best thing in the world. You have become such a good little sleeper. We decided we were going to let you cry it out one night. (papa was a lot tougher than me, I wanted to go cry it out with you) But you did so well. You only cried for a few minutes and it was less awful than I thought. Ever since then, you have become a much better sleeper. You go to bed for us at night and take pretty good naps during the day.

You are really good at entertaining yourself. Your mama has to write articles to make a little money and you are so good to play on your blanket with your toys or in your bouncer. After I’ve been writing for a while, I always sit on the ground to play with you and you get so excited. You love books. You want to turn the pages yourself and the limbs start a flailing as soon as we start reading. You also love anything with a screen. Computers, TVs, phones. You want to touch them and they keep you entertained forever.

You are such a cuddly baby. You’ll let us kiss you hundreds of times a day and it never seems to bother you. Every time you coo or babble, my heart melts. I love it so much. I love that I feel like we are starting to communicate more and that you are starting to understand what things are. Sometimes, in the morning I just bring you into bed with me and lie next to you and hold you. I get scared that I’m going to blink and you’re going to want to be independent and won’t want to lay in bed with your mama.

Baby Lu, you have brought me more joy and happiness than I ever thought possible. You have become our world. Making you happy is my favorite thing and it bring me pure joy watching your discover the world around you. Dad and I are so excited for you to get older because we want to show you everything. We want to take you everywhere and we can’t wait for you to start talking. But for now, I am so grateful that you are my sweet five-month old boy.  Don't grow up too fast. 

The forgotten four month post

Somehow, I wrote this post over a month ago and never posted it.. Lukie's five and a half months now!

Luke is starting to do some things that I don’t want to forget.

For example, on Monday night, he laughed for the first time. Jered and I were at his parent’s house and Luke was being a pill so we took him for a walk around their neighborhood. He loves walks and was being smiley and I started tickling him and he did this growly low laugh. It was the cutest thing ever. Seriously melted my heart. I’m so glad Jered was there for it! So laugh for the first time at 3 ½ months.

He is starting to look more like a baby. He is filling out a lot more and I feel like he gets cuter all the time. So many times throughout the day, I find myself looking at him wondering what he is going to look like when he’s older. His blue eyes are beautiful. I think they are going to get him a lot of attention throughout his life. They are the first thing people comment on whenever they see him.

He has become a thumb sucker. It is honestly the cutest thing. Some people tell me how bad it is but I say if I’m not having to constantly find a pacy I’ll take it. Plus watching him suck that tiny thumb of his makes my day.

He is such a happy baby. I love that he is starting to like social interaction more. If he can’t see me for a while in his crib or bouncer, he’ll start to whine. As soon as I bring him over to me, he’ll talk and smile and coo.

He is becoming so vocal. The noises he makes are such a crack up. I love it. I always wonder what makes him turn it on because he’ll go for hours and not make a peep and then all of the sudden he goes crazy.

I love that whenever I feed him or give him his pacy or am stroking his face trying to get him to fall asleep, he always puts his hand of mine or holds my finger or something. It is so sweet.

He wiggles like crazy! He is getting hard to hold because he stiffens up his whole body and when he gets excited his arms and legs go crazy.

He is starting to hold onto things more and put them in his mouth when we give them to him. Not really grabbing at things, just swatting but anything I put up to his mouth he tries to suck on.

I tried giving him rice cereal for the first time last night (06-05-12) He seemed ticked. Like he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t understand that what I was giving him was food he just knew he was hungry so he kept turning away from the food and would open his mouth huge to nurse. It was so funny. Any cereal I did manage to get in his mouth he spit out. I’m gonna say he’s not quite ready for that just yet. But a couple weeks later I fed him sweet potatoes and he really liked them.

He is starting to go to sleep earlier, thank the heavens, and we start trying to get him to sleep around 7:30 or 8 now. Sometimes, he has off nights and it’s later but he is starting to get in more of a schedule. Thankfully, he never wants to wake up for the day before 9 and usually not before 930 or 10, sometimes even 11.

Every day I am excited for him to wake up. I love taking him on walks because he always gets so excited and is so happy during them. When I go with my friends, it’s hard to pay attention to what they are saying because I just want to talk to and play with Luke.
He is such a blessing in my life. Every day I feel grateful to have this happy healthy baby in my arms.
Pics from four months


Friday, July 13, 2012

A late night thought..

Sometimes I think to myself, “my life is little.”  I live in a little apartment and am a wife and mother to a sweet five-month-old baby.  That is my basic role.  Now, of course there is nothing wrong with this role, I love it, but in the scheme of things, sometimes it feels..well small, not insignificant, but small.  Often it’s easy to see others and their talents and think, what do I have to offer?  Sometimes, I think this world where we are so connected does a disservice because things like blogs and Facebook can give the illusion of perfection.  It is easy to read someone’s blog or see how crafty or talented they are and think, wait, am I doing something wrong? I’m not a, b, and c.  
Life is ever changing and it is so easy to look ahead and think, well, when I buy a house then this will happen or when I have more money than this will change.  But, I don’t think that is what life is about.  There is always something to look forward to, but I don’t know if that is always the best thing to focus on.  Sometimes, we just need to stop and look around and love what we have and where we are right then.  The life of a stay at home mom isn’t glamorous, but it is familiar and comfortable and wonderful all at the same time.  I took Luke in for his well check today, which also happened to be my old job, and looked around and didn’t miss it one bit.  I miss the people but I don’t miss working from 8 to 5.  I love that I am the steward of my time now.. love it.  I love that if I want to go to Utah for a few days I don’t have to fight with my supervisor for time off or wait for PTO to accrue.  It makes me feel more in control of my life.  But back to the point at hand, aside from this, it is easy to look at the world and all the great things people are doing and think.. what am I contributing to make this world a better place? 
Here’s the thing.. you can get really obsessed by all of that but the truth of the matter is.. the world is made up of ordinary people doing ordinary things.  That is what life is.  Ordinary moms (and dads and people in general, but in this case I’m talking about moms) doing their best everyday to raise their children the best they can and we are seeing the fruits of their labor everyday in a thousand different ways.  It was one ordinary mom who raised the wonderful doctor Luke saw today and the good friend who is so great to talk to and the sweet lady who checked me out at Target.  Really, the world is run by people who were raised by people like me.  Just people doing their best whatever that means to them. 

I’m doing some serious rambling here but it is something I wanted to get written down because it’s something I have been thinking about a lot.  There is this super popular blog called the daybook that I’m sure you’ve heard of but I actually copied and pasted something she wrote the other day because I thought it was so profound.  It kind of goes down a different vein talking more about relationships, but it can totally be applied to daily life. 

I have spent far too few moments treasuring the beauty of familiarity. The thought struck me late the other night when I was in the bathroom, cutting my husband's hair. I don't know why it struck me then. I've done it countless times before. But this time, somehow the simple intimacy of knowing exactly how he likes his hair and snipping my clippers accordingly while he watched me in the mirror seemed profound. There is something to be said about sharing your life with someone. Growing up and growing old together. Raising your children. That idea is often romanticized by stories and movies, but amidst the day to day living of that life, the appreciation for it can be lost. 

To be truly known by someone, with all facets of your past and present, your weaknesses and strengths exposed and still loved. That is beautiful. And getting to watch the little boy that I have with that someone, grow in his own familiarity with the world and with us, it's a bigger experience than the small words I have can describe. What a privilege it is to be the one that he knows better than anyone. And to experience the seemingly insignificant day-to-day of growing old together
with someone. To me there's nothing, even in the constant stream of new and exciting, that could top or fulfill as much as that warm familiarity.

I guess what I’m saying here is that life really is beautiful.  And all of those seemingly ordinary moments add up to be something so much bigger.  Relationships and growth and understanding and love and learning all come from ordinary moments that happen every day.  So, even if the majority of the world will never know who I am, I can be happy knowing that in my little world I am giving all that I have and trying to be a little better everyday.  I love the quote that says “bloom where you are planted.”  I think part of a happy life is learning to be happy wherever you are and doing whatever you’re doing.  That and choosing to be happy now, not later. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Tomorrow will be a week since I started Paleo, the caveman diet.  I can honestly say that I have used more will power this past week than I think in my entire life. As I think back on hard things in my life things come to mind like passing a certain class in college, my mission, labor.  But what I have done this past week is a different kind of hard.  Not because it's the HARDEST thing I've ever done in my life but because it requires a different focus and commitment every minute for a foodie like myself.

The idea behind Paleo is that you can eat anything the cavemen ate, and nothing more. According to the diet, this means all fruits and most veggies minus heavy starches like corn and potatoes.  Nuts yes but peanuts no because they're considered a legume... so no legumes.  Also, no dairy, sugar or grains.  So yeah.. fruits, vegetables, nuts and meat.  That's it.  And people.  We did this cold turkey.  Over the weekend we kind of bantered the idea back and forth.  We both were feeling like we wanted to lose weight in a very effective yet healthy way and Jered has a friend who had a lot of success with this.  Monday morning I woke up and decided today is the day I start Paleo.. and Jered was in.

So, I went from eating tons of carbs, yogurt, chocolate and any other yummy food you can think of in semi moderation to eating none of it.  But the point of this post isn't to complain about how awful this week has been... because it has been pretty awful.  It is to comment on how good this has been for me.

As I think about my life, there is no area in which I exercise complete control, no place have perfect discipline.  The house is clean most but not all the time, I exercise most but not all the time, I'm patient and kind and all that most but not all the time.  But this is something that I can do perfectly.  I can completely control the natural [wo]man inside me who is screaming for chocolate or some delicious bread or just a can of beans for heaven's sake.

Every morning I wake up feeling energized and ready for the day.  Every night by dinner time I am begging Jered to cheat just a little bit.  Just one handful of m&ms.. anything!  What I didn't know when I started this, however, was what amazing will power Jered has.  Seriously the guy won't budge no matter how rational I try and make cheating a little.  In short, I would have given up on day 1 without his encouragement.  But then, every night when I lay down in my bed, I'm proud of myself for getting through another day.  For not putting one m&m in my mouth even when he wasn't looking or one crumb of bread.  As much as we are in this together it also a personal decision I am making to be strong.  And it has surprisingly taught me a lot about myself; I feel like if I can do this I can do other hard things.  Things like waking up early and exercising, training for a race and who knows what else.

In a way, it has taught me about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are given these bodies that in their natural state are lazy, glutenous and selfish.  I want to use this lesson I am learning through this 30 days cleanse of Paleo (who knows what will happen after that but one thing I will say is there is no way I'm never eating cheesecake or chocolate or bread again..yum.. ok moving on) to overcome one tiny portion of the natural man and then hopefully use that new found confidence to exercise the same will in other less than perfect parts of my life.

One week down three to go... wish me luck!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Life with a 3 month baby!

I'm going to try to stop saying this every post, but I honestly can't believe our baby is 3 months old!  I keep wanting to post in between his month posts and then before I know it another month has gone by!  It's the same with everything though, on the one hand, I can't believe he is already 3 months, on the other hand I can't remember what life was like without him.

This month has, for me, been the most fun.  Luke is getting so interactive and when he smiles and coos and flaps his arms and legs just because I talk to him, it melts my heart.. every time.. it never gets old.  

Month 3
Luke is starting to be able to roll from his side to his back, something that makes his previous side sleeping a little tricky. He prefers to sleep on his side but he doesn't know how to get there once on his back.  

He has become such a smiley boy.  Especially after naps and when we go on walks.  He loves walking and is all smiles the whole time.  I LOVE it.  He loves it when we sing and dance.  He gets so excited and flails his arms and legs like crazy.  

He is such a happy baby.  The only time he is fussy is bed time. He falls right to sleep for naps but for some reason he hates bed time.  Jered has devised this bed on the floor where he can feel the air from the window on his face and he sleeps the best there.  I don't know what makes the difference because he takes two naps or more a day in his crib just fine!
He does this thing with his hands, always has, where it looks like he's about to pray.  He always has them up by his face in that position when he eats or is just hanging out.  It is adorable. 

He is starting to get really good at recognizing me and will look for me when he hears my voice and sometimes even cries when someone else has him and he sees me.  I know it's probably not good but I sort of love it..

He still breathes like a grimlan and has starting to drool like crazy!!  His whole front is covered in drool at all times.  

He is starting coo a lot more and gets so excited when we play with him.  I was telling Jered the other day I can't stop talking to him.  At home, in public, if he's awake we're talking and I love it when he responds to me.  I thought I would miss him being a tiny newborn but I am LOVING this stage he is in.    It's perfect because he's not grabbing everything and getting into things, he just lays on the ground and coos and smiles at you.  I think it is that interaction that I haven't been able to have with him until now is what has made this month such a special one and why I feel like my love for him has increased ten fold.  I love nothing more than when he wakes up all smiley and wants to play with mama.  I never thought I would enjoy that interaction so much, that I would miss him when he's been asleep for a long time but I totally do.  I feel so blessed to have such a sweet boy in my life.  To have a little buddy who goes with me everywhere and who is happy just to be there.  Love you bug! 

Here are some pics from family pictures with Amy Rex and then some of the bug.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2 Months

Actually, Luke is now over 9 weeks but I've been trying to post this for the past week. I honestly can't believe I am in my second month of motherhood!

*Disclaimer: This is another lengthy post about my baby.  It is mostly for me because I want to remember all these little details but I like the idea of blogging all of it, so feel free to read if you feel so inclined.

This month has been so fun.  Luke has gotten so much more interactive.  He is smiling like crazy.  Those first smiles are unforgettable.  At first, he would just pull up the corner of one mouth and kind of open his mouth and coo.  Then, he started smiling with both sides of his mouth but it was really hard to get his attention long enough to look at me and smile.  Now, almost every morning when he wakes up and I change him he looks at me and coos and smiles.  It seriously melts my heart every time.  Just in the past week, he has been smiling bigger like real smiles and getting excited when we talk to him and does kind of a laugh.  I can't get enough.  It sounds so cliche but I really don't want to miss one smile.  When he starts cooing and smiling I stop whatever I'm doing, even if I'm in the middle of a conversation with someone just to watch him.  I never knew something so small could literally make my whole day better.  Babies are just like that I guess..

He is so much more alert and interactive.  It is so fun to see him passing little milestones every day. Things I want to remember about his second month besides smiling:

-He is much more alert.  He is getting a lot better at making eye contact and can track pretty well some things, especially things that light up like phones.
-His absolute favorite thing is lights.  He could look at them for days.  It's so funny.  Put a bright light in his peripheral and good luck getting him to look at anything else.  His other favorite things to look at are in the mirror at his chubby little mug and the roof of his carseat.  It has a geometric pattern that fascinates him.  It was so cute because he's always been in that same carseat obviously and it was like one day it just clicked that there had been this cool thing to look at the whole time and now he can't stop staring!
- One day, Luke was crying and Jered did airplane with him just to see how he would react.  He lifted Luke up supporting his chest and legs and "flew" him around the room. Luke stopped crying immediately. Now, whenever he gets really upset that's our go to and it's almost fail-proof.  He loves the airplane so much he forgets whatever he's crying about. His face is also priceless.
- I have been noticing that he is starting to respond to us more.  I don't really know when babies start to get separation anxiety and he doesn't really have that but there are certain things that he does that makes me think he knows who we are and he likes it when we're with him more than just responding to our voices and things like that.  Like, this morning I got out of the shower just as he was waking up and starting to fuss. I came into the room and said "hey baby Lu" and, without even seeing me, he stopped crying.  Now, that's not always the case of course but it made me think maybe he knows I'm coming and that calms him down.  Also, when I was getting ready this morning, I propped him up on the floor so he could see me but then went into the other room.  He started crying but when I came back in and put him in his bouncer where he could see me, he started smiling and cooing at me.  I don't know if any of that means anything, but there is nothing better than feeling like Luke actually wants me there.  When babies are born, they really can't differentiate between you and any stranger on the street, so I love that he is starting to do that more.
- Luke continues to breath like a little gremlin... constantly.  It is so funny but I'm starting to wonder if it's normal for him to still be doing it at two months?
-He sleeps pretty much through the night. He's a night owl though and it's hard for me to get him to sleep before 11 or midnight, but once he's asleep, he'll sleep for at least 6 hours if not 8, and once I feed him he sleeps for another few hours.  He has woken up for the day at 11 for the past 5 days.  It is such a blessing and I'm sure I'll get it bad my next baby but for now it is so nice to be able to have some time to exercise and get some things done before he gets up.

My love for this baby just gets stronger and stronger.  I love nothing more than spending time with my little family. It is so fun for me to see Jered with him too.  He loves that baby so much and is so good with him.  Just tonight I was cooking dinner and Luke was in his bouncer and Jered was playing with him when he called for me to hurry over.  I ran over and Jered was so excited because Luke was reaching for his hanging toy for the first time.  I love that he gets excited about those things like I do.  I love that we equally share the amazing experience of having this first little boy in our lives and I am so grateful to be doing it with him.
First time hot tubbing as a family.. Luke loved it!