Sep 14


I am my own worst critic. I have a hard time loving myself unconditionally. I am constantly judging, worrying, questioning whether I am ok, doing the right things, being the right person.

Do we all struggle with this, or is it just me?

Today I was sitting outside after lunch, watching Lily play with some little toys, and I felt an overwhelming sense of contentment. A feeling so strong of being happy and like the world was just right. All from watching my little flaxen-haired girl flit around like a like a fairy. I thought about the moment she was born, the moment that Anna was born. The strongest feelings of “everything is right” that I have ever experienced. My heart filled my chest, my whole body. It got so big and so full of love that tears escaped. I thought about this and then I thought about loving myself in that way. I thought about my girls, and I hoped with all my heart that they could feel this love, from me, but also from themselves. I want that, for them. I want them to know just how amazing they are. Will they know this?

Loving ourselves is a gift to ourselves but it is also a gift to the ones that love us. Treating our own selves with respect and love sends the message to those that love us–our spouses, friends, and our parents–that we accept their gift of loving us and that we value ourselves the way that they value us.

What do I want my two girls to know? I want them to know love–from their father and I–and I want them to love themselves. I want them to have the self-respect to seek out relationships that give them the love that they deserve.

There have been so many of these life lessons that I haven’t fully grasped until I became a parent. And, as I move through each stage, there is more and more and more to learn. It’s that proverbial onion peel, being shelled open to find layer after layer after layer. It’s that lengthy mystery book, turning page after page as more and more is revealed. “Oh!” we say, “Now I get it!” But there is always more. Revelation upon revelation.

What will I feel as my girls get older? Their pain will be my pain, that much I know. My own mother told me this herself, in just about these words. But I didn’t get it then.

What will I feel if/when my girls get rejected….are disappointed….struggle with negative thoughts about their bodies….get their hearts broken….struggle with mental illness…have to have surgery…become depressed or lonely or fail to see the beauty inside of them…???

Their pain will be my pain.

The best I can do is show them the love and trust for time to reveal for them as it has for me: that they are worthy, that they are unique, that they are beautiful, that they are loved and that they can love. And to trust that when (because it surely will happen) they forget these things, when they are desperate and hungry for something beyond themselves, that they can come back to this, their soul center: just be. Be yourself.

Sep 14

Veggie girl

That moment when you know your kid is just not YOU.

This weekend we were eating dinner and Lily was enthusiastically eating noodles and salad and I kept pushing her to try the chicken satay. She continued eating her noodles and salad. She finally looked at me, irritated, and pronounced, loudly and clear as anything, “I. HATE. MEAT.” And went back to eating the rest of her dinner.

: O

Wellllll….ok, then. Carry on. (Apparently she isn’t a meat-eater).

Jul 13

July 27, 2013

We had a sweet little family party yesterday in honor of Adam and Lily’s birthday. Adam’s brother Chris and his family (my sister-in-law Rejane and their two kids Bruno and Max) drove down from San Luis Obispo and my mom (kids’ Nana) came also. It was a small and wonderful gathering! Adam’s cake was a lemon cake with lemon curd and a lemon buttercream. Lily had a little eggless lemon cake with whipped cream on top. After she licked all the whipped cream she wanted more! It really felt festive to be celebrating both of these birthdays on the same day for the first time and it made me think of all the wonderful July 27ths in our future with our little family. I love these people so much!

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Jun 13

Lily, 11 months old

11 months
20+ pounds
5 (almost 6) teeth
Size 18 month clothes
Size 3 (12-18 month) shoes

10 Words: Mama, Daddy, sister, Anna, more, all done, Baaa (sheep sound), woof (dog sound), “Mo” (for Marco, her lovey), Nana

Lily claps, makes animal sounds, turns the pages of her board books and even paper books (with supervision), plays peek-a-boo, pulls to standing, cruises on furniture, and climbs. She is a busy, busy girl who loves to have attention, loves to laugh, loves to move move move! She loves to swim, she loves to go on walks in the stroller. She loves her sister! She does not love being strapped down in the car (a necessary evil, unfortunately for her). She loves to eat, and she really loves to throw food over the side of her high chair for the dog (not my favorite). She loves to the feeling of sand and dirt and water.

This girl is zooming so fast to 1 year old that it makes my head spin!

May 13

Lily, 10 months

Our Lily-girl is now 10 months old! The reality of how quickly this first year is going has hit me this week as I contemplate the mere 2 months that are between now and her being a one-year old.

Lily now:

crawls. For real. Very very quickly. Oy.

pushes into standing position (but not really pulling to stand on furniture, just pushing up from the ground or things that are low to the ground).

says: Mama, Daddy (“Dad-DEE!”), Sister (“ter-ter”), all done (“ah duh”), more (“mo!”)

signs: all done, more, milk, water

shakes her head No No No

does the most adorable trick (If you ask, “How big is Lily?” she throw up her hands into the air to show us “SO big!!!”)

lifts her arms up to indicate desire to be picked up

drinks (messily, ha ha) from a cup

turns the pages of board books (sometimes she gets frustrated when she tries to open the binding end of the book)

Lily is so much more physically gung-ho than Anna was at this age. I wouldn’t dream, for instance, of putting her on our bed, even for a moment, untended (she immediately crawls to the edge). If you are holding her in your arms and she wants down it is nearly impossible to hold onto her (she is SO strong!). She does share her sister’s sense of humor, though; she seems to know when she is doing something funny and looks for a reaction.

She is crazy about her big sister and it is one of my biggest blessings in life to be privy to their growing relationship. Anna does an amazing job helping me (I can ask her to entertain her sister for a few minutes while I go to the bathroom) and they both delight in it. Sometimes Anna gets frustrated (especially if it has to do with Lily touching her toys) but, for the most part, she is incredibly patient and gentle and delightful. I love finding Anna reading to her little sister.

Lily is still wearing some 6-12 month clothing but we are nearly into the 12-18 months sizes. She is long torso-ed like her sis and daddy so rompers are tricky (especially with a bulky cloth diaper butt).

She is loving eating food and is doing great picking up little pieces of food. She continues to prefer fruit and veggies to meat and will often spit meat out if she puts it into her mouth. She has been loving cherries in the last couple of weeks (we pit and halve them for her). She was also a huge fan of a veggie soup that I made (especially loving the carrots and sweet potato chunks).

For as active as she is, I have been appreciating Lily’s quiet and snuggly times, like when she is ready for a nap. I love the way she leans her head against me in the Ergo. It’s the best.

We’ve been swimming quite a bit now that the weather is warm and Lily loves it! She has her own little pink wetsuit and she gets really excited when she sees it come out. In the water she is invigorated, kicking her legs and splashing and trying to drink the water. Its like she thinks that I should just let go of her already; like she thinks she can already swim! Such a funny girl.

Her hair is so blonde and beautiful, with a little swirl of a curl right down one side. Her eyes are an extraordinary blue (I am always getting compliments on their beauty).

We love our sweet Lily!


May 13

Tooth! Standing! 9 Months old!

IMG_0261Lily turned 9 months old on April 27th. Just a couple of days later she got a tooth (her first). Too bad it happened on the way to Hawaii. Everyone on our airplane got a chance to hear just how hard it was for her. Poor baby. : ( There was a lot of crying.

She has decided that she wants to be upright, but she doesn’t want to hold on to things to get there. She just wants to stand right on up. It is so cute to see her pudgy little legs pushing up up up as she tries to get upright. I can’t believe it. It feels like walking (and running!) is right around the corner (yes, months away and yet I see how quickly this time will pass!). She is so fast getting around but she has a funny combination of traditional crawling and scooting and rolling and sitting.

She loves to wave “bye bye” and shake her head no. She gets quite the mischevious look in her eye when you say “yes!” and she shakes her head, quite emphatically, “no no no!!!” She likes to give mommy big open mouth (slobbery) kisses. How can I resist?!?!?

Lily likes food but does have some opinions about it. She is definitely not as big of a meat eater as Anna was at this age. She prefers fruit and vegetables. Her very favorite thing is strawberries.

She says: Mama, Dadda, Anna. : )

I feel like this first year is zooming by. Hard to believe we are 3/4 of the way to ONE year old!

Mar 13


I wrote a whole long thing about this but when I re-read it, it made even me bored. And it’s about me and my kids and my life and I wrote it. So I erased it. I’ll sum up.

Anna is allergic (anaphylaxis) to walnuts and pecans. So….she can’t eat those. Eating those is very bad.

Lily started getting a skin rash that, as it turns out, is eczema. We had her tested and she is allergic to peanuts and eggs. So….she can’t eat those. Doc says it isn’t necessarily an anaphylactic allergy but, hey, who wants to test that out on a baby? We are told to avoid these for her and for me (since I’m breastfeeding). We will have her retested in a year and see if anything has changed. It only took a couple of days of her and I avoiding the allergens for her face to completely clear up. Crazy.

It’s kind of a bummer but that’s life. We’re pretty well used to Anna’s allergy, living with the epipen and the benadryl and the asking questions at restaurants and people’s houses and the avoiding of baked goods that we can’t verify.

We’re really interested in this article that Adam found. What would it be like to be able to effectively “cure” our kids’ allergies? Why are there so many more kids diagnosed with them? Is it because I ate too much or not enough of something when pregnant or breastfeeding? Is it because we introduced food too early or too late? It’s such a mystery.

I’m hoping that Lily’s allergies go away. From what I’ve read, we have a good chance that she will outgrow the egg allergy, at least, by the time she is 2 or 3 years old. Peanuts? Well, that’s more of a crapshoot. I can hope that she does, but there is no way of knowing whether it will get better or worse in the next few years. Until then….no PB for my baby girl. And no walnuts or pecans for my big girl. It is what it is.

Jan 13

Half a year!

Somehow, this tiny baby

has become 6 months old. That’s half a year, folks. Wha?????

Lily/Lilith/Sweetie/Babygirl/Poopsicle (that’s what her Daddy calls her)…..we didn’t know that we needed to have her here but we did, we really, really did. She is sweet as all get out. The smiliest baby I know (I have to fight the urge, everytime a stranger exclaims, “Oh! I got a BIG smile from your baby!” to tell them, Nah, it’s not that big a deal, she smiles at everyone). Happy, happy, happy. A mover and a booty shaker. She inchworms and army crawls and rolls everywhere. EVERYWHERE. She wants to be wherever the people are, and hopefully “The People” include her big sister Anna because that is her very favorite person EVAH. She does this great gurgle laugh that cracks me up. She bounces when she is in my arms and she is happy and wants down. She lunges towards people when she wants them to hold her (especially her Daddy and her Nana). She loves to suck her toes and put everything (EVERYTHING! OMG Legos and Polly Pockets and American Girl Doll accessories–such as earrings–make me hyperventilate) in her mouth. She is just starting to sit up on her own. She has figured out how to drink from a cup and from a straw sippy cup. She loves sweet potato (though she makes a horrendously shocked face each and every time she eats it) and oatmeal and bananas. She babbles and giggles and she says Mamamammama but only when she is mad/upset. I pretend that she is calling me but I think it really means “I am mad!” She knows the sign for Milk and will start clawing at my shirt if I don’t get her latched on fast enough after making the sign. She loves dogs (but she is a hair puller) and kids. She loves the grocery store and generally gets all mellowed out in the sling while I shop. Her sleep has been just plain awful for the past two months but last night she rewarded my six months of service by only waking one time. Go figure, I had middle of the night insomnia. Sigh. She isn’t so sure about the stroller and would prefer the comfort and warmth of a baby carrier like a sling or the Ergo. She cuddles her head into the crook of my neck when she is tired and makes a sweet little humming sound. She is my baby and she is growing so fast.

Lily, we love you so. Happy half birthday, baby girl!


Dec 12

Lily’s first Christmas

It’s 2 am, Christmas morning. I’m sitting in my room, rocking a sick baby, while everyone sleeps around me. It’s as horribly exhausting as it sounds and yet….it is somehow do-able, even in the middle of the night on Christmas. Even with only two hours of sleep behind me and not much promise of sleep ahead of me. I can’t set Lily down because she wakes and cries and her hoarse, congested cry twists my heart and I have to pick her up immediately and so, of course, I am sitting here, rocking her and smelling her sweaty, feverish forehead and kissing her gently from time to time and being thankful that at least she is sleeping, at least she is resting and she is as comfortable as I can make her and at least she is so very loved, even if she is sick on her very first Christmas.

Last year it was Anna who was sick on Christmas. I went looking for her in the afternoon, after all the presents were unwrapped, and I found her sprawled on her bed, napping, and knew she must not be feeling well (Anna hasn’t voluntarily napped in several year). Maybe next year we can all be healthy? Is that possible?

Even in this, in the midst of a long, hard night, I know that there are worse things. I know that tomorrow morning, even if I am fall down tired, there will be presents and smiles and cinnamon rolls and apple cider. There will be new things and hugs and family. There will be fancy Christmas dishes and plates of cookies. There will be laughter and kisses and there will be love.

It’s a dark night but I have the promise of a bright and happy day to come. So I sit and rock and rock and rock. Sweet Lily, merry first Christmas.


Dec 12

First Foods

You know how with your first born, you are so totally idealistic and you have all these ideas and plans? Example: first foods. You will feed them only homemade and lovingly prepared organic-only homegrown garden fresh produce. You will not give them said food until they are 6 months old, and not a day older. And you will make a big event, with a special bib that you have commissioned from Etsy, one that says, “First Food!” and you will have the good camera charged and ready? And then, as it just so happens, your firstborn grabs a handful of Easter ham when she is around five months old and pops it in her mouth. And…ta-da! First food is ham!

You know? (Or…..maybe not. This is what happened with Anna, though).

Well, then the second born comes along and maybe you have some of the same dreams except maybe just a wee bit less involved but then…..your husband feeds the baby mashed potatoes at four months because she is fussing at a restaurant (for the record, Lily loved them) and then the big sister, two nights later, feeds the baby Hello Kitty red lip gloss (flavor questionable, though it is labeled “cherry flavored”) while she is in the bathtub? You know?

Or….maybe not, again. Maybe this is just me.