Sunday, November 12, 2006

Josh's Wedding

Just some pictures from Josh's wedding. 
Groom and Best Man
Wedding Party
Some Wild and Crazy Guys.
A Kenyon Group Shot. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 02, 2006

For Fin at Eleven Months

My Dearest Baby Boy,

Eleven Months! Almost a year! I can't even believe it. On one hand it feels like you've been with me forever, and on the other it seems like just yesterday you were this teeny fragile thing. It's amazing to think that this time last year I was huge and miserable and desperate to meet you.

We just celebrated your first halloween. You were not a fan of the costume but you loved watching all the other children come to the door. You love all other "little people" and it is so fun to watch you try to talk to them. You had very little interest in eating the candy but were quite content to toss it everywhere. You had daddy in stitches all night. We're about to celebrate your first Thanksgiving in Nashville with Gran and Turbo and then it will be your birthday! We'll end the year with a trip to DC for Christmas to see Nanny and Chief. You will have been on 6 cross-country flights by then which makes you quite the traveler.

Speaking of travelling, you crawl at warp speed and are on the move constantly these days. You're a pro at going up the stairs (always with mommy behind you) and are crusing all over the place. You haven't taken a step on your own yet, but I'm sure you will soon and I'm in no rush. You're constantly on the move and I love watching you explore. You're babbling tons and trying to repeat what mom says. You wave hi and bye while saying the words, but I don't think you really understand what either one means yet. You're very into shapes, although you only have mastery of getting the circle shapes into the correct holes (you just sneak the others around the slots!) and when you get it right we clap together - if I'm not paying attention, you clap while yelling at me to make sure I see. You have six teeth - SIX! Four on top and still just two little ones on bottom. You've mastered your "pincer grip" and can now pick lint off of carpet fibers, and more importantly, you can feed yourself with grace. You still give me trouble with veggies, but who am I to judge you on that! You love chicken and crackers and cheese and just about anything mom is eating. I'm not sure why, but dad's food never has the same appeal.

We still spend our days doing errands and walking and going to the park. You see your baby friends almost every day of the week and I'm so glad you have other babies to play with. You're all finally starting to interact a little more and play together. I have to add that you're very good at sharing - which you must get from your father - and never complain when someone steals away one of your toys. It's too cold to go to the pool now and I miss our swims together. I also miss our nap times. You still take two or three a day, but it seems like mommy always has too many things to do to indulge with you. I still snuggle you to sleep, curled up with puppy and frogger and wrapped in my bathrobe and sometimes I watch you a little before I steal away to get things done. We get to the gym almost every day as well, and you're everyones favorite boy at the Kids Club. All the other kids call your name when we walk in and you usually have a pretty good time. Sometimes you miss me too much and I get a call to come get you early. I don't mind though, I miss you when were apart so it's kind of nice to get to see you early. We also left you overnight for the first time a few weeks ago. Daddy was the best man at Uncle Josh's wedding so you stayed with Chief and Nanny so mom and dad could have some time alone. It was nice to spend extra time with daddy, but when we woke up in a hotel room without you it seemed like the drive back took forever we missed you so!

So that's your life right now. Just think, the next time I write you a note like this, you'll be ONE!

With all the love in the world,


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Flashback

So we stopped by Mark and Joanna's today on our way home from San Diego and she gave me a CD of pictures from Fin's baby shower. Wow I was huge!!

 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 03, 2006

For Fin at Eight Months

My Dearest Fin,

You're eight months old. Wow. We're quickly approaching the time when you'll have spent more time outside in my arms than inside. You're growing like a weed, and wearing 18 month clothes (although I think that's a conspiracy and those sizes are just way off). You're cresting the 20 lb mark and we're onto size four diapers (I still hate to have to see the tiny newborn ones right next to them). Your bottom teeth are working their way through and you are none too pleased about it. You've mastered sitting on your own and you are working hard to learn to crawl and loving standing up - I'm worried you may just learn to walk first! Our talking has stalled a bit at "mama" and "dada", but your nonsensical babbling has picked up considerably :) You're drinking bottles now, which makes me a little sad that our nursing days are over, but I've found bottle feeding is still some nice bonding time for us and of course for dad too.

Our daily routine hasn't changed much. We get up around 7, happily if you've slept through the night (which is about three times a week right now) and take our time getting dressed and having a bottle for breakfast and then we set out on whatever errands the day has in store for us. You're still my best shopping buddy and I've even gotten used to the fits of laughter you indulge in whenever you get to see mom try on clothes. You love tags and I think that walking through aisles in clothing stores is as much fun for you as going to the park! Speaking of going to the park, we try and do that at least twice a week since you just love to swing. Then we're back home for lunch and you eat with mommy - tastes of whatever I eat and some YoBaby yogurt or some baby food for you. I have to keep a list of what you like and what you don't - and when you don't like it, look out! There was a baby food tasting at Whole Foods last week and the nice lady tried to feed you peas and after you gagged on the first bite she tried to give you more and I had to snatch you away so that you didn't decorate the store with strained peas!

Our afternoons are filled with our trips to the pool and some napping while I keep up with the housekeeping. Your favorite tv show right now is "Wonderpets", about a baby turtle, duck and guinea pig who live in a classroom and get calls on a can-on-a-string phone about other baby animals who need their help. You start laughing as soon as the theme song starts and the shows so cute that mom and dad don't mind watching it with you. I have to note also that you have the greatest giggle on the planet. Some days we watch it right before your nap and as you get tired, you just lean over and put your head on my lap and fall asleep. One day, I was laying down while you were sitting up next to me and you actually looked back at me and then laid down and suggled into me and feel asleep. It's still one of my favorite times of day when we get to snuggle a little together.

You still have a hard time in the evening, I sometimes think you may be picking up on my anxiety while I wait for your dad to come home - I'm sure you miss him as much as I do. Then we eat some dinner; some days you eat alone with dad while I go to the gym. Tub time is still one of your favorites. You've become quite the splasher! Daddy had to get a beach towel to clean up the floor after your adventure last night. Mommy washes you and then gets out to have some time to herself while daddy drains most of the water and lets you play some more. Daddy dries you off and puts lotion on you, but he plays while you do it and you two have so much fun. Finally, you get your last bottle and conk out so mom and dad can have some time alone. Daddy likes to snuggle you to sleep now (see, everyone wants to snuggle you!) and some days I have to ask him many times to take you to your own bed because you're just so cute.

I was watching something on TV last night, and the narrator was explaining how having children changes the world for you. He said it better than I ever could have - "it makes all the colors seem brighter." There was some commercial on yesterday about Christmas, and I found myself getting excited. I haven't been excited about Christmas for years. Sure I've always enjoyed it and looked forward to it as a good time to spend with family, but I'm talking about giddy, butterflies, running downstairs and screaming "He came! Santa came!" excitement. I've never been a fan of Halloween either and I'm finding myself even looking forward to that. It's like a gift to be able to relive those feelings and at the same time to be able to create those same emotions for you, to create those perfect magical holidays you'll always remember. All the stores are filled with back to school stuff and dad and I were talking about how much we loved getting all our new supplies to take to school and how excited we are to be able to get all the neatest stuff for you when it's time. I hope you love school as much as mom and dad did!

Your dad and I have always planned on having a few children, but I sometimes have a hard time imagining that any baby could be as perfect or as loved as you. I love having you all to myself and knowing that it's you and me all day with no other priorities. I can see how people who are only children would want to only have one child themselves because if I didn't love my brothers as much as I do I wouldn't know what you would be missing without a little brother or sister of your own. We're in no rush though, I'm enjoying just being with you too much right now.

All My Love,

Friday, July 28, 2006

Baby Song

At first you didn't lift your head;
You didn't know to smile.
The time before you knew my voice
Seemed such a long, long while.
I couldn't wait for you to roll,
And then to sit and clap.
And now you're off and crawling,
Not helpless in my lap.

Why didn't someone tell me
How fast a baby grows,
That every little baby stage
Soon comes, but sooner goes.
So I'll enjoy the fleeting time
Before you learn to walk.
And treasure every tiny noise
Before you learn to talk.

For soon you'll learn to walk,
Then run,
And talk and sing a song,
And never be my babe again.
The babe's forever gone.
Little baby, take your time,
For while you're tiny, you are mine.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Fin's First Reading Time

Occasionally when I'm telling some interesting story about something that has happened or some adventure we've been on, people tell me I should be writing these things down for a book or something some day. Usually I just laugh, but we had an experience today that was too much not to share!

So it's been 110 degrees here for the past week. It's just stupid hot. Even the pool is hot. I decided this morning that Fin and I would get going early and go to the bookstore to pick out some new books so we have something to look forward to while we hide inside all afternoon. So at 9:15 we left the house for our adventure.

(As a peripherally interesting note, there is a man-made lake which runs into the corner of McBean and Newhall Ranch where it meets a fake little lighthouse. As we were sitting at the corner waiting on the light, I looked over and there was our homeless guy - there are two of them that live in Valencia and we see everywhere - with his pants rolled up to his knees IN THE LAKE. This lake is dirty nasty and yucky and very much not for swimming. And he has some kind of remote control boat? Light change, moving on...)

We arrive at Barnyard and Nosehole* and I decided to get some coffee before shopping. While waiting for my tall nonfat white chocolate mocha with no whip, I read the "Events" board. "Every Monday at 10am toddler storytime!" check...9:30. Yay! I've been wanting to take Fin to one of these, so I felt like it just might be my lucky day. The woman who works the children's section and reads the books is super animated and reads with the voices and reminds me how much I used to love it when my mom read to me. Perfect, we can shop and then have storytime. Fin likes books that make mommy count. For some reason, listening to mommy count or seeing mommy in her underpants while trying on clothes are two things that just send him into giggle-fits. So we go on a hunt for counting books and other interesting (read: clearance) finds.

Finally they announce that it's storytime and we cruise over, stroller full of books, to the story area. I should mention that I have some concerns because 1) Fin has the worst case of sleepy eyes ever and 2) His new favorite thing is to scream at the top of his lungs. Not the "help, I'm being eaten by a lion" scream, just a joyful "I found my inner volume button" scream. I have to admit that I kindof like it, just not so much for storytime. We arrive at the story corner and join about 15 other kids all wiggly with anticipation. Fin and I stay in the back just in case we need to make a speedy exit. Then they introduce today's special guest story-teller.

Now, before I tell you what happened next, I have to add the disclaimer that I am not prejudiced and I certainly don't want Fin to grow up with any preconceived notions about any groups of people. But I also have to say that Fin, I think like most kids, has to be read to with a Broadway-worthy performance to keep his attention.

So our guest story teller is about 14 or 15 years old, severely disabled and in a motorized wheel chair. She begins by telling the children that there were accidents when she was born and so she has Cerebral palsy which is why she speaks funny and needs a wheelchair to get around. Meanwhile, the children have all been given coloring pages to tie in with the book we're about to read and are paying NO attention to the poor girl. This is when she decides to give a wheel chair demonstration. She is approximately a foot and a half in front of the children...who are coloring and paying little attention. So when they hear a motor fired up and see a scary stranger lurching loudly and quickly at them, pandemonium erupts. One child screams, all children scream and suddenly everyone is clamoring for mom's laps' which of course makes Fin scream since he thinks it's all fun. I wish I'd had a video camera, but this is where the tape would end anyway.Fin wanted to scream some more and it was very clear that it was going to take some time for all the mom's to calm down the terrified kids and assure them that everything would be fine, so we made a hasty exit.

Maybe we'll try again next week!

(*name changed to protect the store)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

For Fin at Five Months

My Dearest Fin,

I thought I would write you a little note and tell you some things about what your life is like at five months old.

You're sleeping in your own crib now, like such a big boy, and some nights you even sleep straight through until morning! We still swaddle you, although I'm not sure if that's because you need it or because it makes mommy and daddy still feel like you're a baby. You're growing like a weed and I already have two huge tupperware containers of clothes you've gotten too big for. We just moved you up to size two diapers and mommy almost cried at the store when she saw the tiny baby picture on the package of newborn diapers you used to wear. Last night one of your daddy's friends told us that he's having a baby soon too and he hopes it will be a boy so that you two can go off to camp together - camp? Away? My baby? I feel like our life has been slipped into fast forward and you'll be ready for camp in the blink of an eye!

Mommy stays home with you and she's so glad she didn't go back to work! Daddy's glad too and loves hearing what we do every day. We still walk with your baby friends from birthing class - just think that someday they'll tell you how they knew you when you were still in mommy's belly! We went to the pool for the first time yesterday and you loved it. That was no surprise though since mommy spent so much time there when she was pregnant and of course because you love the bathtub so much. Some days we go and walk at the mall. You're happy to go anywhere as long as I keep the stroller moving. Speaking of moving, you're still in your "baby bucket" car seat, but you're quickly becoming too big for mom to heft around in it and I think we may have to move you up to the big-boy car seat this weekend. I'm sure that will make me shed a tear or two as well.

You take a morning nap now, usually while mom is walking, and then you take an afternoon nap and I usually join in for part of that. Don't tell dad, but it might be my favorite part of the day. We get all snuggly together and I let you play with my face and we chat a little (your favorite things to talk about right now are (Bababababa and whooooo). Yesterday you even tried to put George (your pacifier) in my mouth. Guess you'll take after your dad and be good at sharing. Sometimes you refuse to go to sleep until I sing to you. I did that tentatively at first since I don't think I have a particularly good voice, but it makes you so happy and relaxed that now I just sing and don't care how I sound. Daddy says I've gotten much better at it (and that's what we call a loaded complement :). And when you fall asleep, I get to watch you for a while and marvel and how perfect you are and how much in love with you I am. It won't be long before you're too much of a big boy to nap with your mom, so I'm going to indulge in our naptimes together as long as I can.

The late afternoon is the most difficult time for you. You get antsy for daddy to come home, and so do I. When he does get home, he comes right to you, swoops you up and hugs and kisses you. This makes you smile and giggle! I should note that you already have the greatest laugh - and it's very contagious. After everything settles down, it's time for a bath. This is a mommy and daddy tag-team effort. Mom get's in with you (oh the embarassment this will cause when you're a teenager!) and dad get's everything ready for when you get out. You love the tub and you could care less when I dunk you or dump water over your head to wash your hair. There are some nights when I think you'd like to stay in the tub for hours! Dad gets you out and dries you off and even uses the hair-dryer on you - you love that too. Then it's time for you to eat your last meal and off to dreamland. It was hard to transition you to your crib and there are nights when mom and dad walk by your room and have to work hard not to go in and grab you and snuggle you in our bed. But on the weekends, when you wake up early we do go get you and snuggle you for a little while longer. We both look forward to when we can go in and get you and bring you in to watch cartoons with us. So far, only dad's really interested in those.

So there's your life in a nutshell! You're on the cusp of big things: you're teething up a storm, starting to get tastes of real food, working hard to learn to sit on your own and keeping mom and dad on constant watch for that first word. And while I'm sad to miss the tiny baby you were yesterday, even more than that I can't wait to meet the little boy you will be tomorrow.

With all my love,


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Has it really been 10 years?

Pics from my 10 year High School Reuinion:

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006


So it's been 11 weeks yesterday since Fin graced us with his presence and so I thought I'd reflect a little on the experience thus far.

I have to start by saying that if you told me a year ago how I would be as a mother, I would never have believed you. Starting with the basics, everyone says "sleep when the baby sleeps" - and as a pregnant woman, this seemed the most obvious thing ever - but I've done it once. There's always something to clean or wash or fold or do, and then there are the times that I'd just rather lay around and stare at my sleeping beauty. I never thought I would be the parent that didn't want to leave her child-ever-with anyone, but I am. I've been away from him exactly four times and even then never for longer than an hour and never more than 5 miles away.

But I feel like I would be remiss if I didn't also say that I didn't feel an instant bond like many women say they do. When Fin was first born, I looked at him and thought "who the hell are you?" He looked enough like his father but where was me? If I hadn't seen him come out of me, I don't know if I'd believed it. When they first asked me to hold him, I didn't want to. Yes, I was tired and all that, but I also didn't really want to hold him. Because of all my IV's, I couldn't really change a diaper with any ease, so Brooks did all that (bless him). I think that the moment they told us we'd been discharged and cut off his little low-jack was the scariest moment of my life. "You mean you want me to take him HOME with me? And there's no home visit or expert to accompany me for the first few days to tell me what I'm doing wrong?" Thank God my mom arrived the next day. But somewhere in those first few days, I realized that I was already totally in love with him. It was like a shovel to the head, but I was so relieved to finally feel that bond everyone talks about. Now there are times when it takes effort to hold back the tears when he smiles. What no one told me was that I would also feel that bond with Brooks - I didn't think it was possible to love him more than I did, but when we brought that baby into the world together it was like that love multiplied more than I can say.

Sometime around week three, I realized that I couldn't leave Fin and that trying to work while taking care of him wasn't going to work out like I'd hoped. I had some serious anxiety about being unemployed for the first time in my life and depending so much on Brooks for all that, but I knew that Fin needed me more and that these days and changes and firsts will never come back around, and Brooks reminded me that this was the most important job I'll ever do. So I'm a full time mom now - and I can't believe how much I love it. We go on a walk every day, we play, we snuggle, we talk and I love it. Many days we spend time with friends or the other babies from our birthing class and I feel like my life is so full. But as much as we both need and enjoy the company, I'm always a little glad when I find myself alone with him again. I feel so lucky to be able to spend all this time with him and to have such an amazing husband who always makes me feel like a worthy contributor to the family even though it's not monitary.

Patience is another thing worth noting. I'm not a patient person and I think that if he were really honest, Brooks would tell you that he was more than a little worried about how this whole thing would go. But my patience for Fin seems endless. He never sleeps more than 5 hours and usually it's only 4 - but I can't get mad at him for it no matter how tired I am. He's generally pretty happy, but he does have moments where he just screams. Sometimes I look at him and think I may understand how some women harm their babies, but just as I'm thinking that, some cosmic mothering thing happens and I'm compelled to kiss his little tears away. It's like the more he does things that would make the average person crazed, the more I want to hold him tight and kiss and love him.

Finally, there's my body. There's no way around the fact that pregnancy destroyed it. I've never seen stretch marks as bad as mine - forget bikinis and I doubt I'll ever wear shorts again! I'm sure when I stop breastfeeding my boobs will go from 36F's to 36 Extra Longs. And there are plenty of other things that will never be the same. I've still got a few pounds to go before I'm at my prepregnancy weight, but I'm taking my time and they're coming off slowly but hopefully for good. But my hips are wider and my shape will never be the same. The weird thing is how little most of that bothers me. I guess you could say that I have a new respect for my body. I know what it's capable of and that's amazing. This body can grow life, bring it forth and nourish it with an ease that is awesome. Compared to all that, a few "racing stripes" seem not even worth noting.

I probably won't blog here very often now, at least not until there's another miracle on the way. For now I'm kinda busy doing great things - just being a mom.

Friday, January 13, 2006

For My Homies :)

So I just found out that one of my good friends is expecting and I was thinking about making this list for myself for the next go-round.

Pregnancy Must-Do's and Have's:

1. Start early. Baby stuff is pricey and you need alot so make a list and start buying one big nursery item a month so that you're not overwhelmed at what you need in the end.

2. Take a good birthing class that covers birthing naturally - even if you want an epidural, I'm walking proof that they don't always work, so you better have the skills to cope with the pain just in case.

3. Read a few different birthing books.

4. If you have a specific idea of how you want your birth to go, or you feel like you and your partner might need the extra support, look into hiring a doula and do it early.

5. Start buying diapers now. You can go through three in as many minutes on some days - so just get in the habit of picking some up when you go to the store. Ditto on wipes - and make sure you get the gentle skin ones.

6. Buy a few adult diapers - this sounds funny (and looks funnier) but when you first come home after the baby, bleeding is super heavy and I wore these and a pad which I changed frequently for the first few days. Plus, the ones I got had a stretchy stomach which gave me extra support those first few days and also kept hidden the part of me I didn't want to see :)

7. Transitional clothes. When we went to Europe I was already starting to outgrow my clothes (around 10 weeks!) and so I bought a few pairs of pants that were just a size bigger. They were SO great to have in the first month when my old pants were still tight and wearing maternity clothes would have been way too depressing.

8. Morning sickness. I had it. Bad. The only stuff that helped at all was Mother's wellness from Saje ( It's an oil that you rub on your tum a few times a day and man did it help!

9. Must Haves:
A good boucy seat
A swing
Diaper Champ
At least 10 receiving blankets
At least 10 burp cloths
Soothies (for sore boobs if you're breastfeeding)
Little Remedies stuff (you can get this as a whole package and you'll be so glad you have it!)
Tea Tree Oil (great for diaper rash and also keeps meconium from sticking)
Resinol (the diaper rash eradicator, you'll likely have to order this at the parmacy but it's OTC)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Truth Time

Now that I've only got 6 lbs or so to go, I feel I can be honest about the pregnancy weight delivery day, I had gained over 50 lbs. Ouch. I got yelled at in just about every Dr.'s appt for it, but our Doula maintaned that as long as you eat healthy and focus on protein and don't overload with carbs, you'll gain what your body needs to gain. And other than breastfeeding, I have done nothing to get rid of the weight so far (I'm going to start getting rid of those last lbs this week with some good walking time with Fin). All of the nurses in the hospital were in awe of my swollen legs and feet and a the time I knew it was bad, but not THAT bad...I was wishing I had a picture to do a before and after with and then I realized that I had sent a pic to Brandon with the camera phone! So check out the before and after of my feet! (note the tattoo so you know I'm not photoshopping or using the feet of a 300 lb woman :)!