twenty week bumpdate

We are half way! I cannot believe it. We have nothing done and I sometimes forget I’m pregnant. But I’ve been feeling tiny baby kicks and punches and I am feeling much more like myself. Praise!

Weird pregnant things: with both pregnancies, I’ve had this strange dry, rough, snake-like patch on my cheeks. It’s horrible! I’ve tried leaving it alone, no makeup, facial oil, lotion. I’ve finally found a little bit of relief with badger balm. But not really. I’ll be happy when it’s gone because I’m honestly self conscious about it, since it looks like I’m some kind of freakish animal peeling its exoskeleton.

Just this past weekend, I was having braxton hicks. Already! These hurt. I’m thinking it’s because I was dehydrated. I have a hard time keeping up with my water intake when I’m home. Tips and suggestions are welcomed!

I’m starting to gain weight which is always super hard for me. I don’t really change my diet and I try to watch what I eat. Emphasis on try. But Trader Joe’s holiday food. And fudge Oreo’s. Ugh. Jingle jangle ice cream. A forest made of cheeeeese. And with all the winter layers I just feel like I look like a beached whale.

We had our anatomy scan and the doctor said everything looks great! But we’re making everyone wait until this babe makes its appearance. Gender to come April 2018! 😉

national family pajama night

Christmas is a time of tradition. And traditions are my favorite! Fave, fave, fave! In my family, we have countless Christmas traditions. Side note: how many times is acceptable for me to mention tradition? Every year on Christmas Eve we are allowed to open one present. This has been and perpetually will be our Christmas Eve tradition. And that one present is always Christmas jams. You bet I’ll be continuing this with Dane and we are excited to start our own holiday memories. (Secretly, my favorite will always be pjs.) On Christmas morning, we stay in our pajamas all day. It’s really the best. So comfortable. Much tranquil. Very relax. It’s the one day of the year where we look forward to taking it slow, with no place to rush off to.

This year we went with coordinating jams from The Company Store.  We got some in green plaid and some in red plaid. The company store is partnering with the Ronald McDonald House NYC, hosting the 7th annual National Family Pajama Night. The children who are ill and staying at the house can enjoy a fun-filled, festive night with their families in their matching PJs! Yeah! I just love that! For every pair of family jams sold, the company store donates $1 to the Ronald McDonald House in NYC. The donations will help create, fund, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Click [here] for more information on National Family Pajama Night and I hope you join in on this super, jubilant tradition.

Do good, get yo’ jams. You wont regret being ultra comfy on Christmas morning.

Photos courtesy of Emily Saenz

Post in partnership with the company store. All opinions are my own. These products are truly things we love, would buy, and fit our style. 

#giftbriar

It’s no surprise. I like a warm baby. During our California winter months (lows of 60, I know, not cold), I legit dress Dane like Ralphie’s little brother, Randy, all bundled (over-dressed/stuffed like a sausage) in a snowsuit. “I can’t put my arms down”. I just don’t want Dane to be cold. Ever. Briar Handmade has the best bonnets to keep babies nice and toasty. Those ties also help with toddlers taking them off. 😉 It’s staying on kid.

Like Blair and Rachel, I am eagerly anticipating the hullabaloo (what a fun word) of the Christmas season. We are going to #giftbriar with the release of their Winter Jungle Pom bonnet collection. And maybe (most likely) with some basics too. Bonnets make great stocking stuffers! We have jingle and it is the most beautiful cobalt blue with, not one, but two poms. Two poms are better than one! He looks like Mickey Mouse. Or a baby bear. Dane is almost 21 months and he’s wearing the 18-24 months with some room to grow. At 18 months, his head circumference measured 19.25, so just at the tail end of the 12-18 months size. This bonnet will last us all winter! I can’t wait to see all the babes in their poms.

Post in partnership with Briar. All opinions are my own. These products are truly things we love, would purchase/DO purchase, and fit our style. 

Halloween trash day theme

This little baby. What a cutie but man, he refused his trash can. I am going to call it a win that I at least got a picture of him holding it. Immediately after, he threw it. I had a feeling he wouldn’t wear it but it was worth a shot. His green pajamas are super soft and were supposed to blend with the trash can and his chambray bonnet was supposed to be the lid. Good thing the trash truck Travis created was a hit! Trav is legit the Dr. Victor Frankenstein of cardboard box crafting. I mean, it had actual lights! Working lights!

Halloween was SO much fun this year. Dane rode in his trash truck, went up to houses and said, “trick-or-treat”. He told everyone, “you’re riding in your wagon”. We still have to work on pronouns. He got a lollipop, figured out how to open it, and guessed it was edible. 30 seconds of a sugar high. Holidays with kids are… let’s be honest… work and slightly exhausting. But oh, so much fun! And the memories are completely worth the bags under my eyes.

Happy Halloween.

and….

Merry Christmas! Am I right, or am I right?

I’m right.

 

Dane’s green pajama set c/o KicKee Pants; bonnet from Briar.

Growin’ things.. and by things I mean a baby

So we are growing a new garden at my moms house and I’m also growing a tiny bb who is expected on April 25th!

We are elated to be expecting a little babe! I’m also slightly (v) terrified because I do not know how we are going to manage two. But I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it. I mean, some people have FOUR kids and they’re alive. Anyway…excited and petrified. Two totally normal emotions, right?

First trimester is hard. Especially with a toddler. The sickness is lingering this time around. I just get sick when I’m pregnant. I can’t eat. Nothing sounds good. Definitely not stepping foot in a grocery store. Count me out. Cooking? That’s a hard pass. It’s all day nausea for me. At 14 weeks, it comes and goes in waves. I’m still having some food aversions but some cravings are coming in. Cookies, burgers, fries, gummy bears. You know. The healthy stuff.

If you know me, like know me-know me, you know I suffer from permanent exhaustion. I’m always tired. No matter what. I wake up tired. Something new this pregnancy is the trouble staying asleep. I can fall asleep easily. No problem. Maybe a little too early. Like 8:00 pm. But every time I roll over, and I mean every time, I wake up.  Sometimes for like 30 seconds, sometimes it feels like an hour before I fall back asleep. Apparently, this is “normal” but it’s been so hard since I work part time and full time take care of my people. And I need sleep. Emphasis on need. Serious dragon lady without eight hours. Even though I wake up tired, I still need my beauty sleep. I’ve been doing limited electronics at night. Some nights nothing at all. That’s been super hard because I love watching TV when Dane goes to bed. Side note: Hallmark Christmas movies start this weekend so you bet I’ll 100% sacrifice my sleep for those glorious movies. Loading up on iced coffee the next day.

We don’t know the gender yet but we will find out around December 7th at my 20 week scan.

Thanks for being over the moon with us!

finding hope again

Still processing. Still confused. Still devastated. Still angry. Still sad.

and

Still trusting. Still hoping. Still praying. Still loving. Still believing. Still going. Words from our worship pastor, John Cassetto. Yes, I feel those things too.

I’ve been at a loss of words. What do I say? How do I pray? I am not good with words. Thankfully, I remember Romans 8:26… “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (NIV)

Praying for the families who lost loved ones. Praying for the recovery of the 500+ wounded. Praying for change.

So much going on in our nation right now. The fires. The hurricanes. The violence. Las Vegas. Puerto Rico. Houston. Florida. Mexico. So much pain and brokenness and darkness. We are in some serious need of HOPE. The weekend of September 9th, Kay Warren delivered a powerful message about finding hope after a traumatic event, a strained relationship, serious health problems, crushing disappointment, unchangeable circumstances, or a painful loss.

Through all the storms we experience (some quite literal) Kay helps us understand that we can find hope through resilience (definition: able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. Strong, tough, hard, buoyant, irrepressible, flexible, pliable, supple, durable. Able to become strong, healthy or successful again after something bad happens.) Resilient people survive and thrive in the face of trauma. Resilience can be learned.

There’s this illusion that life is easy. Wrong. Life is harder than you’ve ever expected and Jesus said, “In this word we will have trouble” (John 16:33). The first way to build resilience is to accept that life is tough. But God gives us resources to cope with life. He gives us a guide, a mentor, a savior. We are not alone. He gives us a new mind and a new heart when we accept Jesus as our savior. He’s given us his word as a road map. We can’t control the hard, we wont be held captive by what has happened to us, and we get to choose how we respond in hard times. Here are seven practical choices Kay mentions that can help build resilience:

  • Expand your connections when hope starts to fade. Don’t pull back! Press in to community/relationships.
    • “A friend is always a friend, and relatives are born to share our troubles.” Proverbs 17:17 (CEV)
  • Believe you’re capable in God’s strength of handling anything.
    • “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.
  • Avoid expecting the worst.
    • “Lord, when doubt fills my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19.
  • Practice self-care. Take care of yourself in the middle of hard times. Eat well. Rest. Exercise.
    • “You let me rest in fields of green grass, You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and You refresh my life.” (CEV)
  • Seek self discovery. In the middle of the mess there are learning moments. Trouble has the benefit of exposing the gaps in our faith.
    • “We can also learn from insults and hard knocks.” Lamentations 3:30 (CEV)
  • Practice gratitude. Be grateful for the beauty still in this world even though beauty has been taken from us.
    • “Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just you were taught. And be grateful.” Colossians 2:7 (CEV).
  • Decide today that nothing can destroy you. No matter what comes our way, we will grieve, mourn, and be devastated by the losses but we will not let them destroy us.
    • “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39 (NIV)

Kay stresses that we are more than conquerors. When we take the pain, the loss, the suffering, the beauty that was stolen from us, the trauma… When we take what is meant to kill us, and learn from it and use it as the stepping stones to grow more like Jesus we become more than a conqueror. Because of the beautiful scars of Jesus, we are still here. We are still standing.

And one day…

“He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 (TLB).

Watch [this] beautiful message by Kay Warren from Saddleback Church. Be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life including your work, relationships, health, and more.

Apple pickin’

Dane eats his fair share of apples. It’s v much a staple in his diet. I always get so excited to take Dane to do the things that I did when I was little. Oak Glen is the cutest little place to go pickin’. We’ve been to Riley’s, Los Rios, and always end up at Law’s because they have the best cider. We did not prepare for the cold. It was a crisp 50 degrees at 10:00 am. Not what we are used to. Dane’s outfit was an accumulation of everything we had in the car to keep him warm.

During the week, Riley’s only allows you to pick pears, raspberries, and sunflowers so we ended up buying our apples. Again. And picked everything else in sight. Leaves, apples on the ground, rocks, sticks, hay, flowers. If it’s pluck-able there’s a good chance Dane will pick it. This time of year is so fun. The nostalgia of it all brings me so much joy. I hope that Dane will feel that way as we continue to make traditions.

Now bring on the baking! I’ve got apples up to my eye balls. What are some of your fall go-to recipes?

My romper c/o mien studios

Live for what really matters

Sometimes I gots nothing. No story, no words. But just over here dreaming about a platform where I can share some good news! Even if they aren’t my own words. Giving credit where credit is due, obvi. I pray that this little place will reach someone seeking hope.

I like to talk about what I learn at church. Maybe you don’t want to watch an entire service so here’s the cliff notes. Scott Wilson… what a funny guy. Thanks for helping people get ready for that face to face examination with Jesus. We have two tests:

  1. The first judgement (test): Great white throne- a judgment of sin resulting in heaven or hell.

Revelation 20:11-15. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Oh, shoot. Ok, to me this is a little scary. I want my name to be found in the Book of Life. But like Scott emphasizes and makes everything a little more comforting…the good news ain’t so good unless we know the bad news. True story.

  1. The second judgement (test): judgement seat of Christ- a judgement of works resulting in reward or loss.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15- By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

So don’t be confused. We don’t have to be perfect. I don’t even think I could try to be perfect. That’s just too hard. Let’s also go back and look at what Ephesians 2:8-10 says. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

When we are saved we have a calling. A kingdom purpose to live your life for the Lord. Our life will be tested- what did you live for? Things of this world? Or for eternal things of the Kingdom of God. 

What has eternal value:

  1. God
  2. People

Matthew 22:37-40. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” So lets surrender our hearts, do things his way WITH him. Remember, he didn’t call us to be perfect. He called us to be faithful. Being faithful for whatever God wants. 

Praise hands if you read all that!

Watch this inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life including your work, relationships, health, and more.

eighteen months

545+ days with our little Dane sprout. Happy year and a half baby boy!

One and a half and he’s like a real boy now. He definitely is the epitome of boy. Dirt, rocks, grass, trucks and cars, trashtrucks, trashcans, just plain old trash, trains, bugs, balls. All things he is obsessed with. Obsessed. I don’t know who teaches him these things but he genuinely enjoys them. And I swear he already has a sense of humor. He says things and laughs at himself.

So, hang on because, because I’m about to get all preschool educator on you. Skip this paragraph if it makes you go cross eyed. Dane can rote count to “gwelve” (twelve). Yes! Count. It’s mind blowing. I mean, sometimes he skips a few numbers but still. At 18 months, he’s demonstrating math readiness skills. He can label several colors and he’s using his language to request. Except, we need to work on a need vs. a want because he will say things like “need a popsicle” at 7:00 am. Decline. Insert choices. You can have yogurt or toast. We sing lots of songs up in here. ABCs, slippery fish, drive the fire truck, baa baa black sheep, and wheels on the bus to name a few. We are also thinking of putting together a two disc compilation album of the random songs that we make up (that all happen to have the same tune haha). All your favorites, like “We’re Almost Home” when he’s losing his mind in the back seat, and “Nice And Warm” when he gets out of the bathtub. Yours for only 3 payments of 19.99! Just kidding. Seeing him grow and go through this language and learning burst has been super fun. Def a proud mama.

I wanted to share this developmental chart for one-two year olds, since I get so many questions about how Dane can talk so much. And really…I don’t know how Dane is demonstrating skills that are above his age level. Maybe it’s all the book sharing we do? I’m honestly not sure. If you have any questions at all regarding your child’s speech and language development, please, please, email me or send me a DM. I would be super happy to help!

*developmental chart from www.asha.org

18 months has been fun but we definitely have our ups and downs. We transitioned to one nap and we’re officially in the toddler meltdown stage. I’m so not ready for tantrums. That’s a whole new world of parenting. We’ve been working on “name it to tame it” from No Drama Disciple. So now he screams, throws something, and says “mad”. Then we hug and work it out.  All in all, I’m not ready for my baby to be a big kid. But as he gets older, he’s also gotten cuddlier and even sweeter, giving hugs and saying “snuggle!” Today he even grabbed his raccoon and mouse (Travis insists on giving him a variety of woodland creatures) and hugged them both and said “Cuddle party!”  Savoring this precious time.

entertaining busy bees on airplanes

Flying with a toddler = anxiety. At least for me. Travis is all mr. calm, cool, collected, while I am a hot mess, basket case. Anyway, I was super worried about flying with Dane since he legit doesn’t sit still when he is home. He is constantly moving and playing and saying, “walk” or “ready to go”. But I do have to say now that we are home, the hardest part wasn’t the traveling but coming back home and trying to settle back into home routine. And trying to get rid of that dang paci.

Luckily, he fell asleep on both flights so that bought us about thirty minutes. For the rest of the time, we ate snacks and read books. The highlight was the bottle with pipe cleaners and gel stickers. I would hand him one pipe cleaner at a time, he would put one in, and then we dumped them out and started over. He loved it! We did that for a good fifteen minutes. Bonus, this activity targets fine motor skills. You can use a water bottle, milk bottle, or whatever bottle you have lying around. Gel stickers for the window were entertaining but they get a little gross when they fall on the ground. We loved stickers and magnets. Anything that you can take off and put back on, or put in and dump out. I definitely overpacked toys but I really wanted to use manipulatives before we resorted to using the iPad. We did great on the first two flights but coming home we needed to use the iPad for some entertainment. You win some, you lose some. I hope these materials and activities work for you too! Good luck, mamas! You can do it!

ps. practice universal precautions! Hand sanitize and soap & water! 😉

p.p.s. you can find some good stuff in the target dollar section too.

Travis. Always taking one for the team. What a guy.

Side Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the provided links. These products are truly things we love and fit our style.