Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday thoughts

Here are my philosophical thoughts for the morning: we celebrate thanksgiving with gluttony, and follow it with greed on Black Friday. How many deadly sins can Americans fit into one week? It's discouraging. I want to be intentional about teaching my children that we have enough, in fact much much more than we truly need.

Friday, November 22, 2013


I'm proud of Juliet. She's made some great strides in her penmanship lately! It's wonderful to watch her grow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I don't think that explaining the religious component of holidays is working out so well. I told the girls that Christmas is a day to celebrate Jesus' birthday, and now Juliet has been talking all day about planning a surprise birthday party for Jesus and jumping out of the closet to yell "Surprise!" when he walks through the door :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fun at the zoo

Yes, Juliet insists on wearing a dress or tutu no matter the occasion, and both insist on their punk sparkly shoes! These girls!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Making pretend

We've had to go beyond our normal activities this week given how housebound we've been due to illness.

One of the many activities we did today was play pretend that the girls were camping. They were roasting their "marshmallows" and taking inquire seriously- "careful mommy, don't burn yourself on the fire!"...."ooh look, mommy, my marshmallow is turning brown! Yummy!" And so on.

Nice memories of trying to make the most out of
this otherwise rotten week of illness.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A little unclear on the concept

Me: "Are you sure you're telling the truth, Juliet?"
Juliet: "What's that mean, mommy?"
Me: "It means that something really happened, instead of it being pretend."
Juliet: "Like poo poo. And bikes. And scooters. And rainbows. Right, mom?"
Me: "Ummm, I guess?"

Finn's first tea party

A night on the bathroom floor

I acquired a stomach virus that Juliet brought home with her, and haven't been this miserably sick in years. I am finally able to hold down small amounts of liquid but feel horribly weak and achy after several hours of vomiting and fever.

I think I will never grow old enough to stop missing my mom when I'm sick. I want her to walk through the door, put me in bed with a cool cloth on my forehead, and take care of me until I'm better. Gary did an excellent job standing in, and between him, my sister, and our new babysitter, we are all surviving. But I still miss my mom.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


This is from a babywearing meet up at an indoor playground. We just came from ballet class, so Juliet is wearing her dance clothes, and I'm putting a mermaid costume on top of it for her. Meanwhile, I'm blocking the couch with my butt so Finn doesn't roll off, then I will put him on my back in that beautiful carrier a friend is letting me try on.

Audrey is not pictured since she was running around having too much fun! Little miss independent.

I like how this photo capture my daily life!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Her highest compliment

Juliet: "oh, thank you, mommy! You are the best rainbow, sparkle, princess, dancing, celebration party, ballerina  mommy in my whole life!" 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sometimes you try...

And it's a huge failure. Audrey isn't ready for a toddler bed yet!! They sure did look cute trying, though!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

And so it goes

I  am cleaning like a mad woman in preparation for my in-laws to visit. It is reminding me of my mom doing the same to prepare for my grandma (dad's mom) to arrive. I remember telling my mom, "grandma knows we are messy. What's the point?". And so it comes full circle. I get it now, mom...I get it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

She's growing up...

Audrey has increasingly begun to call me "mom" instead of mommy or mama. I can tell that she's trying the word on for size, watching for my reaction with some sort of understanding that this is a "big girl" word. 

She is very verbal in general, and here are some of her expressions, at just under 2 years:

"Mommy, watch! This is amazing!"
"No, mommy, that's not it. That's SILLY!"

Audrey is so constantly full of expression and it always makes my heart full.

(Self portrait by Audrey on iPhone)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Home Depot with "Baba" (grandpa)

Just one of the many reasons I am grateful to be living close to my extended family. These relationships are so special to me. These ordinary and everyday moments bring such a feeling of peace and intimate balance.

Gary and I attended a wedding in Berkeley last weekend and had such a great time, enjoying the fresh breeze and beauty of Berkeley and lovely conversations with old friends. The Bay Area has always whispered "home" to both of us over the years, and did again during our short trip. We talked about moving back up if my family ever starts dispersing and making mass exodus from Orange County, because they are the real reason we are here. And as much as I live the Bay, I hope everyone stays right where we are, because having your family near to love and be loved is really what this life is all about.


I've been dreaming so much about my mom recently. The dreams are just ordinary moments where my mom happens to be present. Nothing sage-like or worth interpretation, just warm pretend moments. It's disappointing to wake up.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


2 years ago we were going through the hardest week of my family's life, watching my mom endure the most terrible suffering and being unable to ease it. I prayed fervently every night when I finally went home, that she would pass peacefully in the night so that her suffering would end. It is a tremendously hard prayer for a daughter to make for her mother. I changed from praying that my mom would somehow get better, to praying that she would die, death being the most compassionate option. 2 years later, I still cry almost every day watching the images pass through my head. Some things just can't be unseen or forgotten.

But we are surviving. And better than that, we are thriving. Here is an image from a quiet night in my home last night, enjoying our most precious blessings and not taking any minute of this for granted. My mom's death has taught me that- there are no givens, no assumptions of tomorrow. So I am fiercely appreciative of every day I have on this earth with my children and my husband.

DIY with empty dog food cans

I want to do this! Maybe not this season of life since I haven't figured out how to master life as mom and also do much DIY but maybe some day...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dr. Audrey

Finn spiked his first fever last night, after a round of vaccinations. He was feeling so hot to the touch and fussy and the forehead scanner read 101.9. I worriedly hopped into a cool bath with him and then rocked him in the living room with a cool cloth on his forehead.

I was so concerned and focused on Finn that I was not paying much attention to the girls. But they sure were paying attention to me, anyway! Because this morning I walked into the living room to find Audrey gently placing baby wipes on Finn's head and quietly reassuring him, "it's okay, baby. Everything's okay."

It was such a sweet moment and a reminder that my children are watching and learning from me all the time, even and especially the unintentional lessons.

Finn is still running a fever today and I'm feeling so much tenderness toward him, and also some fatigue. I am also running a low fever and battling some pink eye, so my body is just not 100%. Gently reminding myself that these are the days I will ache for when my children are grown- the warm bodies seeking my comfort through day and night.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nursing smiles

Finn is getting to that adorable stage where he pops off the breast when he's nursing to look up and coo and give me big smiles. It is so cute! I am so in love with this little guy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I am so in love my my baby and love knowing that my body created him, nurtured him in the womb, and has been his sole source of sustenance for these several months since birth. It's just amazing to conceptualize, that a mother's body can do so much!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

"Big girl" puzzle

Juliet has completed this puzzle about 8 times in a row now. She needed a fair amount of help on the first try, but now she's able to complete it with very minimal help. It's amazing to watch her little mind absorb everything and learn so quickly!

With each piece that she complete on her own, she enthusiastically shoots "Yes!" and raises her hands in the air. It's wonderful to watch her pride on her accomplishment!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Audrey and me

21 months

She doesn't get the whole "smile for the camera thing" yet and usually looks grumpy in photos despite her overall contented personality!

Saturday, June 1, 2013


What's happening around here:

Juliet is 3! She is gaining a lot of interest in learning the alphabet. She can recite the spelling of her name by memory, and knows most of the alphabet by sight though she will still look to me for help and reassurance for the tricky ones. She is starting to really enjoy working on the alphabet book that her Aunt Susan ("SueSue") got for her birthday. So far, she can write an "E", "T", and "O" without help. She loves to sing, dance, and play pretend while she wears a princess dress or anything that sparkles. Drawing with markers or painting is also a favorite. The jacaranda trees in our neighborhood are blooming, and we love to play "I Spy" in the car and spot them. It's our favorite tree and I love that she knows their name.

Audrey is 21 months! She is developing her personality and learning in great strides lately. She can count to 10 and sings part of the "ABCs" and loves to sing other songs like "Jingle Bells", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and "Old MacDonald". She is very verbal and can say just about any word you ask her to, and speaks in phrases and sentences. She is also very physical and loves to race her sister down the sidewalk after shouting, "Ready! Set! Go!". She also is developing a love of books and insists that I read 3 books every night at bedtime: Knuffle Bunny, the Ladybug book, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She follows Juliet around everywhere and learns everything from her, both good and bad, as evidenced by her latest phrase, "Go away, mommy!".

 Finn is 3 and a half months! He is just the cutest little thing ever and I am soaking in the moments when he is still little because it feels like it is on warp speed this time around. He is eating and sleeping well, nursing every few hours during the day and twice at night (1 am and 4 am). He slept in bed with me for the first 3 months, and now he sleeps all night in his Rock & Play next to my bed. He still is swaddled tight for sleep. Most of his naps occur in a wrap or carrier still (3 naps a day). We are settling into a good routine. He is smiling, laughing, and recently discovered his hands. He enjoys watching his sisters, and being cuddled by mommy. He hates the car just like his sisters did, so driving anywhere sucks.

A tip from mommyland

I've been using coconut oil* to treat Finn's cradle cap, and it has been working very well. Just rub it in, let it set a while, and then gently scrape away the nastiness.

The bonus is that every time I sniff him, I feel like I am on vacation on a tropical island!All I need to do is add a little rum and I'll be all set! ha!

* virgin Coconut oil can be found at Trader Joe's.

Just another Saturday

Gary left this morning for the dentist for some fairly major dental work.

And then...he came back giddy, with this. I never know what to expect from that guy! He is such a big kid. Our backyard is becoming a full blown carnival!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A conversation with Juliet, age almost-3

"My grandma lives in heaven, mom. Right, right?"

"Yes, that's right."

"My grandmas your mommy and she lives in heaven. It's really far away. Can I go there, mom?"

"Some day, sweetheart. Not for a long time."

"Yeah. Yeah. Because it's way up there and really far away. I love my grandma, mom."

"I know. I love her too, Juliet."

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I feel like people don't want to hear about it much anymore. But the grief is still there, strong as ever. I miss my mom. Mother's Day weekend doesn't feel like something for me to celebrate. I just want to crawl under the covers and sleep away the tears.

That's not going to happen with 3 littles who need their mommy, so I slink off to the bathroom and wipe away the tears. I put on my smile and sing the Itsy Bitsy Soider for the hundredth time and play I Spy in the car and act like Juliet hasn't spied the green in the trees for the tenth time in a row.

Life is good, beautiful, and busy. But oh how I miss my mom so.

Friday, May 10, 2013

An early morning conversation with my favorite son. He's a great listener!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Finn and his groupies

3 months!

Finn is 3 months today! He is an easy baby and a joy to mother. The little stinker doesn't like the car so that part is no fun but otherwise I think I'm finding out how to comfort him and keep him content. Lots of babywearing and cosleeping is happening. He's my last baby so I'm not going to stress about the whole sleep thing. If he sleeps best snuggled up to me, then so be it! The crib can wait until later. He's growing fast enough as ot is!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Carlsbad mini vacation

Running off the lbs

I am feeling rather bummed that Finn will be 12 weeks soon and I am still rocking the maternity jeans. I still can't get my regular pants up past my knees :/

I've been exercising at stroller strides since 6 weeks PP but my weight has been just dead stuck. I have 15 lbs to lose.

So tonight was my first post-Finn run. I went 2.5 miles and it felt great but much tougher than it did a year ago!

Suffice for it to say that the run was much more relaxing for Audrey than for me!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Practicing piñata

To say that Juliet is excited for her birthday this year would be a major understatement! This morning she practiced her piñata skills by stringing up a pony and hitting it with her hair brush.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dear Internet strangers--

Quit bitching about your mom. So she folds your laundry the wrong way? She doesn't hold your kid exactly the same as you do? She accidentally trimmed your bush too far back in your front yard?

Well boo hoo.

My mom is dead, so shut the fuck up and be grateful that your mom is alive and loves you and wants to help you with your newborn baby and be part of your family.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mommy n Me makeup!

Juliet's reward for good behavior was being allowed to put lipstick on myself and her. She has always been such a girl!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

9 weeks 3 days...

Clothing for little boys seems to fall into 2 categories: "Sports Star" and "Preppy old guy".

This is Finn's "old man" look. Ain't he handsome!

Stats: 11 lbs 2 oz (45th %), 22 inches. Sleeping in bed with me, bedtime around 8:30 and waking at 1 am and 4 am to nurse. He nurses great and is very content as long as I'm wearing him, which is most of the day. He feels like the easiest of my babies but it may be that I've just finally figured out what the heck I'm doing!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bath time

Sitting in the bathroom watching my kids play together with glee. Joyful laughter and play for over 30 minutes. I am so glad they have each other. They truly are best friends and it is such a joy for this mom to see.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fun with felt

Art project of the day. Juliet picked the purple felt for he crown. Purple has been her favorite color for several months now. She glued on the circles herself and wore the crown for hours afterward. Big success, especially compared with many less successful projects I try!

Audrey, 19 months

Audrey has developed some specific fears this month. It is so interesting to watch how her little kind works.

She is very afraid of two things:
Windshield wipers, and shadows.

She freaks the freak out when she sees both. (The shadows are seen when she's lying in her changing table and my or Gary's shadow reflects on the wall above).

The great thing is that she is very verbal for her age, so she can communicate, "mommy I'm scared!!". It is actually quite sweet and I wonder how long these fears will last. I tried showing her a "bunny shadow" on the wall with my hand, and now she's also afraid of bunnies...oops!

This photo is just added for more comical measure. Jenna's husband was doing a "smile everybody! Say cheese!", and this was the face she gave! Ha!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I visited mom's grave today. It sucked. I'm still not ready. It still feels so unfair and hurts so much.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I want to remember...

The sweet days of their childhood when a Saturday walk around the block would take an hour or more. We stop to climb every wall and pick every flower. We watch the birds in one tree for several minutes and imitate their chirping. Juliet wants to know the name of every tree as she and Audrey climb on their strong big roots.

Juliet asks me earnestly, "where did the grass come from? Who made it?" And Audrey tries to peek her head into the sewage drain when I tell her that the water goes all the way to the ocean, exclaiming, "ocean! Where are you?!"

Finn sleeps on me with contentment in his sling. I am tired, oh so very tired. But these are the sweet days that I will hold in my heart forever.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Losing the baby weight

I went back to Stroller Strides last week at 6 weeks post partum. (That's me in the way back, doing squats with Finn in the Ergo). It feels good to exercise again without feeling like I'm walking around with a bowling ball in my crotch.

I tried on some pre-pregnancy jeans today and they wouldn't go up past my knees. I probably shouldn't have done that- it was only discouraging! One nice thing about having our family complete at 3 babies is never having to lose this dang pregnancy weight again. I lost it pretty easily the last 2 times mainly by breastfeeding it away, but it still is daunting! Especially since my tummy just keeps getting stretched out more each time and the skin doesn't look like it used to! My babies are worth a million times over, but I'm getting rather tired of wearing these maternity clothes!

Nothing like running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get juliet to school on time, only to discover its closed for spring break! Whoops!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Juliet's new chore is to set the table every night for dinner. Finn took an extra long nap this afternoon and I relished the time to focus on cooking a nice meal and helping Juliet (and Audrey- but she's still a bit young) learn her new role in our family. She loves helping me!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Few things faze me anymore in the bodily functions department. But fishing out a human turd from the bath tub still makes me gag involuntarily.

How's that for TMI?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Egg hunts

It's the season for Easter egg hunts. We've done 3 already, and will do one at home on Easter morning, too. Fun stuff but the girls' teeth are probably rotting from all the corn syrup. They have quickly learned that the little plastic eggs hold candy which must be eaten quickly before I try to ration it out...

And isn't that the creepiest Easter bunny you've ever seen? Audrey wouldn't get within 20 feet of him. She insisted on watching him leave, and while he walked through the parking lot, she kept repeating to me, "Rabbit, go home!".