Tuesday, November 12, 2013

november ramblings

I think the pressure released on November 1st. We had a wonderful first weekend of November. 

We went to find a park so I could snap some pictures of Jakers on the run. Don't have time to learn my fancy photo editing software...one day...but this picture captures the awkward toddlery gait almost perfectly. What a precious pumpkin. 

Y'all, I love being a mama. It has challenges and I'm by no means "the perfect mother" but I love love love so much about it. My outside-the-home job makes so much more sense too. For years I got to play mama every day before it became an official title for me. I can see how being a mama makes me a better teacher and being a teacher makes me a better mama. I am thankful for the interwoven nature of these facets of my life. 

It's November 12th and I wish that I had committed to one of those listings of things that I'm thankful for each day of the month. Maybe I will start now anyway.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

3 years ago


Well this year wasn't any easier for me than any other year. I don't know if it was any harder...but it certainly wasn't easier. A week and a half later I can't tell you much about what we did. hmm.

I had fall break over that weekend. Thursday hung out with my Jakers, Friday hung out with a couple great friends...Saturday & Sunday are a blur...and Monday I decided I had to make a cake. Jake wasn't feeling well so he hung out on the couch watching back to back PBS with his cup of juice. I've cut back on the baking since June and hadn't had butter in the house for months. I bought some for sugar cookies, which I had made in the weeks leading up to Sammy's birthday, and had enough left over for chocolate buttercream frosting. This cake made up for all the baking I hadn't been doing since June.

We tried to look at the pictures from his birth. But so much has come to light about what life really was as opposed to what I thought it was at that time...that I just look at the pictures and think about all the Ick that came out in 2011.

These last three years have been long. 2012 was a break compared to 2010-2011 and 2013 has had plenty of challenges. I'm just tired. And "celebrating" or not? the birth and death of my first child was once again more than I could fathom. I mean, I'm living it and it still seems unimaginable. I don't know how else to explain it.

I don't really think much about the what if's of having a 3 year old. I had a baby that didn't live. He will always be my baby. He wasn't my 3 year old. But he was my baby. And yet I can't help but occasionally miss him.

We went to Colorado last weekend to spend time with my family. Everyone was there for a quick weekend. Nana bought a bunch of pumpkins for us to carve in honor of Sammy and that was fun. We will all appreciate the fancy pumpkins that we see displayed knowing how challenging our raggedy looking pumpkins were. *smile* We went to visit my brother at his fire station and Dave snapped that picture. I love it. But all I can think is that someone is missing.

For the last 2 years I have started to plan something fun to do in honor of Sammy on his birthday. But when it comes down to it, I get too sad, too distracted trying to not look sad, and too absent minded to commit to anything. Some kind of pressure releases after October 7th and I can get back to my "normal" sad self.

Isabel was looking at pictures on my mom's phone and found the ones of Sammy. We started talking about how his birthday had just passed and she mentioned that he needed candles to celebrate.

Isabel: looking at a picture of Sammy lying in my lap "Did you drive there?"
Me: confused "uh, yes, we drove there."
Isabel: "Is there a door there?"
Me: still confused, realizing she thinks we can just go visit him...
My mom pops into the conversation as the tears stream down my face: "yes, there is a door, and Sammy is there and some day he'll get to walk around and show us all that he's learned."
Isabel: "No Nana, he can't walk, he's just a baby, babies don't walk."

Oh Sammy. You never lived outside my body but you are surely living inside our hearts and our minds. I really hope to hold it together some year and honor you on your day. But this was not that year.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

a hole

I did so well. I don't know when it hit really. But looking back I can see it started at least last weekend. I made it until Tuesday, to my group therapy, and then the dam broke.

I am sad.

I want to crawl into a hole and stay for a while.

The fridge is beyond empty. We don't even have a "kukle" (that's pickle in Jake speak). Nothing matters. And it's all sad.

You should be almost 3. Bugging me every day about the theme for your party and asking if today is the day.

So now I'm trying to get all the ugly sad out before your day. Hopefully I can just be "normal" sad for the 7th.

Love's taken over me and so I propose the letting myself go.
I am letting myself go.
You Are My Joy - David Crowder Band

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'tis the season...again

I guess that's the thing about seasons, they keep comin' back around.

Somehow jack-o-lanterns have become a *thing* that remind me of my forever baby.

Could be this:

yeah, that's it.

And then last year we did this:

So I'm making plans for this year's birthday celebratory pumpkin carving. And eating pumpkin shaped and frosted cookies.

I don't think I've mentioned -the 3 baby boys I know that are due that first week of October. I just put together that that is 3 boys for Sammy's 3rd birthday. Wow, crazy coincidence.

I miss you baby boy. Can't wait to hold you again!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

2013 : busy summer

We are busy! I have been working on a few projects for the home and a few for school. We have been one 1 family vacation and had 2 groups of visitors. Jake is busy learning, learning, learning and mama is loving it all.

book shelf = best birthday present ever 

at 14.5 months here is the updated list of your accomplishments little dude: 

sleep: between 11-12 hours a night with inconsistent naps

movement: crawling! and that igor shuffle...no real walking yet but you have been brave enough in the last week to take some unsupported steps. this week when we were in various stores you wanted to get out of the cart and walk next to me. gross motor development is moving right along - you make "the wheels on the bus go 'round, and round" and can be distracted from whatever terror has beset you (diaper change, whatever) with the singing of that song. the itsy bitsy spider is also starting to work it's magic. i have seen you crawl an itsy bitsy up the water spout. 

food: eating like a champ {as usual} but getting a little bit more picky. i never know what you're going to eat so I put a few bites of anything on your tray to see if you'll bite. tonight it was pita dipped in lemon greek yogurt. whatever dude. fruit is FAVORITE ever. bananas and blueberries are at the top of the list. I'm sneaking you vegetables in your quinoa bites and pita pizzas. *wink* you, kinda, fed yourself yogurt with a spoon tonight. it was messy but you sure tried. 

communication: stella! is your official first word. so one else knows that's what you're saying except me and daddy though so i'm not sure if that counts. i guess "boo!" might be your first discernible word, i think other people understand that. in the last couple weeks you've started shaking your head yes and no with intent. usually you start with no and if you really mean yes, you will slow down and nod. i'm getting anxious for more words because we both get very frustrated with the lack of understanding. i know it'll come with time...you already point and comment with that sweet baby gibberish on most of what you see. you bark anytime you see a dog, or almost any 4 legged animal. we're working on the cow's moo and the horse's neigh. you LOOOOOOOVE people. you light up for anyone who's eye you can catch in public. it's amazing to me how comfortable you are on skype, remembering grandparents and the special games you share with each of them. you can find your nose, your eyes, your ears, your tongue, and sometimes your eyebrows. 

play: you are a champ at the high five and since we've been working on knocking on doors you also give knucks. ohhh - and open mouth kisses, and sometimes zerbet kisses. i can keep you busy for 10 minutes with any of the following: a spatula (bonus minutes with a bowl), a cup with ice in it and a straw, a container with something to put in it and take out (in and out, in and out, in and out), a bag with something to take out & put back in (out and in, out and in, out and in), a small ball to throw around, containers with lids, and my phone. you have a sound table in your room that you love and i especially love that you will sit in your little striped chair and look at a book. 10 Little Lady Bugs is a current favorite, along with Pat the Bunny, and Barnyard Dance. seriously, you open a book and start gibbber gabbering away. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jake's Birth Story - 1 year later

**I found this draft and figured it was as good a time as any to post his birth story. I am grateful for its simplicity! That means it ended well!**

Much like Sammy's story, Jake's starts with us getting to choose his birthday. At the appointments leading up to my 39 week appointment, my doctor didn't seem too concerned about the potential for a big baby. Well, early in the pregnancy he had concerns but by the last trimester he seemed to have forgotten them?? It was confusing but - he's the doctor - right? Week 39 and all of the sudden my doctor was back to concerned that this baby seemed to keep growing...yeah...at that point we were ready to head to the hospital that night he if let us, but it was a Friday so instead we requested the induction be scheduled ASAP and waited for the call.

The plan was set, check in on Sunday night, May 6th and have baby boy 'cido on May 7th. I couldn't help but love that my boys would share the 7th of the month as their birthday. 

My mom came into town on Saturday and helped us finish up getting the house ready. 

Sunday night we checked in. Mom stayed with us until I was settled. It felt strange. Knowing (hoping) we were about to start a process we were familiar with but that would have (hopefully) a different ending.  My nurse noticed...something...and commented on our subdued nature. I don't remember exactly how many times I explained about Sammy but it was a process. I would ask or try to figure out if this was a person who *needed* to know or who might care and proceed from there. 

This time I hadn't done any prepping for childbirth. I knew I wanted an epidural...I don't know what else contributed. I also didn't do any research or prep for anything after the birth. 

Monday morning went much the same as it did with Sammy, the doctor swept in, broke my bag of waters, they started pitocin, and we were off. I think it was during this early morning visit that he mentioned the possibility of a difficult birth. My doctor was convinced after all the trouble with getting Sammy out that this baby would be born via c-section. "You could push for 2 hours and then end up with a c-section anyway." He really tried to prepare me.

On his next visit around noon he asked, somewhat nervously, if we knew what we were having, a boy or a girl.  This wouldn't be the first time he was confused so I cautiously said yes, it's a boy. The latest paperwork that he had from our specialist said that it was a girl!! So we laughed, said we didn't care as long as he/she was healthy and got on with the {painful} waiting.

***from here on written 5/7/13**

A year later, from that point on, here's what I remember. The epidural was great, once again it got my body to relax and progress much faster than I had been. Around 4:30pm, maybe?, the nurse thought I might be ready and called Dr. v. He asked for her to have me push for a while, to get ready for when he got there. So I pushed. 3 times and the nurse said stop, you are ready!

Dr. v was out of breath for running to get there...I pushed 3 or 4 more times and our baby boy was born! There had been meconium in the waters when they broke so we knew he would be whisked off to the baby suite right away. Babe promptly poo'd on the dr and let out a scream as he was carried off. As is seeming to be his nature - all unpleasantness is greeted with a holler.

My first look at him was this picture - when someone brought the camera over to me to look at.

My initial reaction was that I had given birth to my father and my youngest brother. Second thought - CHEEKS!

Finally I got to hold and cuddle him and I realized he didn't have a name yet. He looked like a Jake. Still does. Can't imagine him with the other names we had considered. 9 lbs 6 ozs and adorable. Only recently have I been able to really appreciate the "big baby" that the nurses and aids came into our room to see. Every new person would ask about our big baby and coo at those cheeks.

It's been an amazing year. I love, love, love, being Jake's mama. A couple of days ago I had my first "we might be in trouble" thought. You see, he's got this little stubbornness thing that's started. I realized that in life, I am confident that my stubbornness will out stubborn any one else's (maybe not something I should be proud of??). But if his stubbornness, is my stubbornness...??? Ya'll, I wasn't too worried about anything until like 2023 or so. But these toddler years are starting to look a bit scary.

Happy Birthday Jakers! 
Can't believe you're 1...

Friday, May 3, 2013


we did an early cake smash with a section of the family...sunday will be the NOLA family cake smash. 

yes we are those corny people. believe that Dave has a shirt to match the invite...we fully acknowledge that this is a party for us as we celebrate keeping Jake alive for *almost* 1 year.  

and because I can't stop - half the birthday banner

and a half finished "time of his life" display...I didn't ever love the ones I took on his month day so I just chose a fav from each month. he's really not as serious as I make him out to be. but he is that cute. and smooshable. (not walking, crawling like crazy, getting sassy with mama! and eating everything with his 5 teeth, incaseyouwerewondering)

I had to do a little man theme...which morphed into a little STRONG man theme...and well, nacho's for cinco de mayo. it'll be a great day. 

someone even had a theme verse to go with the little strong man idea. 

2 Timothy 2:1 ...be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus...

Yes, my Jakers, my prayer for you in life is to find your strength in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. That will be your peace. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

sooooo big

11 months! so close to my birthday! and i'm soooooooooo big!

I used to read Pat the Bunny with my buddy Luke when I nannied him. Very fun. One of Jake's Titi's (that's New Orleans for aunt) here taught him to raise up his arms when someone asks how big he is. That translates to when he's had a couple bites of breakfast and realizes he's awake, he throws his arms in the arm and smiles. To which mama responds "soooo big!" in an obnoxiously high voice. Who's training who??  Too bad he has a bib on in that picture because the bear on his shirt is actually doing the same motion. huh.

He also figured out how to stick his tongue out this week. Adorable (so far). And will occasionally wave at the most *special* people. I don't know how he decides who gets a wave bye bye...the dogs might be included in that. Sunday when he wouldn't let me put him down and I needed to get ready for church I would say "if you don't let me put you down we can't go buh bye" and he would start waving. He did it enough times I actually have video. Hold your hand up for a high five and then rotate your wrist, that's a Jakers wave.

Spring break is coming next week, lots of visitors, and lots of plans. Including Jake's first visit to the zoo! I plan on lots of pictures, hopefully I'll get a minute to post some here.

Anyone know where to get gray socks? Jake is a crawling, standing, moving fool, and his socks are all white on the top. Dumb!! I can't find gray socks (in all the two places I looked). All the shoes I have ordered are too big. :-/

Sunday, March 31, 2013

"healthy" dessert?

This is a random post, but if I had all the time in the world to cultivate all my habits, food blogging would be up there behind momma blogger. And one who sews and creates beautiful things. Repurposer of found treasures. Photographer. Reader and writer of great things. 

Anyway. Hubs signed up to bring a healthy dessert to his work potluck last week so I got to experiment. I kinda wanted to send him with a bowl of fruit because if it's dessert it shouldn't be called healthy - in my opinion. Instead I checked around the internet and pinterest and found some gems.

Both were delicious.

I have been recently obsessed with these homemade fudge brownie bars as well. (not pictured) All this "healthy" goodness has set me on a good path *wink*. Yesterday I caved in the checkout line and bought a Reece's egg. My taste buds are so conditioned to lighter "healthier" fare that I wasn't mad I had to share it. It was sooo rich. Before I tasted that richness I made these Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies. I adapted the recipe a bit, used coconut oil instead of canola oil just for fun and then when I realized I only had 1/2 cup of sugar left in the house I added 1 Tbsp of honey to the mixture as well. I lost interest in the honey and had a babe pulling at my legs, that's the scientific reason for only 1 Tbsp. And, if I do say so myself, they tasted quite good. I took my zucchini lovelies to an Easter gathering and they were eaten up before I could warn everyone about the impending healthiness. 

And also : Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

ten months

We have a crawler on our floors. Sometime in the middle of his sick week he figured out how to crawl for serious forward movement. I knew he was starting to feel better when he crawled over to the puppies bed to get Stella's ball and be close to the action. That was close to the DVD's and the baby proofing began. Jake is not a "leave it alone" baby. He's a "hey-what's that?! I need to touch it" boy. Extra effort if it's shiny or big. Or can be un-somethinged (unpacked, unstacked, unwound, unplugged, etc).

Still only 2 teeth. There's a row on top allllmost ready. So mama is still pureeing 90% of the food. This baby loves to eat, and the only thing he doesn't enjoy so far is black beans with cumin, oh, and chicken. Ha - maybe he gets that from his brother *wink*. Anyway, don't know if it's the purred black bean texture or the cumin, I was just excited to add some flavor to his food. This morning, I handed him a slice of frozen peach and was rewarded with 5 minutes of silence. I don't even officially know how much he's eating. Seems like a lot but since it's all fruits and vegetables it can't hurt - right? At his last ear check he was 22 lbs. Big boy!

He's a great sleeper. Wiped out by 7pm most nights and up between 6-7am the next morning. During the sickness there was a little hiccup with waking between 4-5am for a bottle but he would go back to sleep so I won't even complain. He loves to cat nap every 3 hours or so but occasionally takes a long midday nap too. Since he's figured out how to move around the crib AND throw things, a new favorite game is to throw his paci out and then talk until someone comes to give it back. At night Jake gets really silly before bed time and loves to see how fast he can sit up after I lay him down.

Jakers is starting to sing a bit. Sooo sweet. And we've finally gotten a couple "mama"'s out of him. Not directed at anything in particular but definite mama action. The pups and loud children are his favorite. In the picture above he was watching some silly girls run back and forth in the yard. Nothing gets him quite as excited as watching other people be excited. We have not encountered the "afraid" of other people stage yet. I set him down at school (or church nursery) and he's off to play with toys and friends, not a bit worried about me.

I realized this last week he's becoming a person. In lots of ways I don't like it (the batting things away and fusses when he doesn't get what he wants), but I am also excited for the next. Zoo's, parks, and swimming, can't wait to show you the ropes of summer.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

ruff stuff

we are in the midst of siiiiiiiiiick. thrush, yeast rash, virus w/ evidence out both ends, pink eye, ear infections. it's been a heck of a week. and in the middle of it all, my baby is officially a crawler! dvd's are packed up, photo's are off the bottom shelves of the book case (he's not a climber, yet), and nothing is safe. 

life is just gonna get more and more fun from here :-)

and y'all. look.

that pot on the top shelf was a gift from when Jakers was born
matches the dishes perfectly

Those dishes! Free, a hand-me-down gift from a bestie. I tried to show how amazingly they match the decor I already had up in my kitchen. AND - the KitchenAid! Another gift...I didn't realize until posting this picture that the towel in the background matches the dishes and decor. That's fun.

I just felt so loved by God when I was putting the dishes out and connecting all the dots. In the middle of this *sick* week it was a welcomed bout of love and gratitude.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

a story begins here

So. A friend of a friend of a friend gave birth to a precious baby girl this week. She has Trisomy 13. My heart as been hurting for them and my head spinning. Trying to remember those first days after the news and imagining it with a body that has just given birth...I hope they are soaking up every moment with their sweetest. I wish I lived closer and could take them food!

What I do remember, when I started reading blogs and spending time on all that, was I wanted quick access to their story. I was glad (not really) that life had moved on for y'all, but let me see where you started.

So here I am 2.5 years later, life has *cringe* moved on...and I am adding a link to get to a story. Sammy's story. Y'all. I hope, one day, to share some more. Because I waited for the perfect blog title and SURPRISE! it applies to most all my stories...my life. It's gonna take a lotta love to get through this mess life. 

So there's a link back to the beginning of one of my greater stories, one that has unapologetically changed me and shaped me. It's there, at the top, above those beautiful cheeks.

Friday, February 8, 2013


This is the kind of photo I like to have as my desktop photo on the computer. BOO! Love it. 

Nine months! Amazing. His newest skill - pointing or using his pointer finger. He's very interested in trying to pick up everything he sees with his thumb and pointer finger. And the pointing. So sweet. I almost got a picture of it this morning (9 months and 1 day). 

Let's see...

Sleep: to bed at 7pm like clockwork...up between 5-7am. Will take a bottle and sleep for a little longer if it's before 6:30am. After 6:30am - it's up for the day! Naps are not consistent. Sometimes he'll sleep for a couple hours midday and sometimes it's a few cat naps all day. As long as mama get's a good night's rest she can go with the flow. That flexibility is also helpful when mama wants to be out during the day. 

Seriously. I had to take him to work with me today, it was a half day and his day care was closed. When he got tired I snuggled him up in the Maya wrap and he eventually laid his head down and slept. I taught a small group with him in the wrap. AWESOME BABY. I know it's all a ploy for a sibling. Isn't that how it goes? The older ones act all good and easy then BAM! the next ones rock your socks off? hmmmmm. 

Oh - don't let me forget to mention that you figured out how to sit up from a laying down position. For the first time at home last weekend you giggled wildly every time I told you to lay down and sleep. You're not quite standing up in the crib, but you like to pull up on your knees and bounce. And giggle. 

Eat: Again - couldn't be easier. Eats everything I put in front of him and just wants a lot of it. Favs are sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, blueberries, yogurt, banana's...peaches, mango, puffs! Finally! Only the 2 teeth on the bottom...although, I predict the top row will just appear one day soon. 

Play: Jakers, Jakers, Jakers. You are not crawling yet. Everyone else in your little baby room at daycare is crawling. And you sit. Every now and then you scoot over to something but mostly you just chill. At home I've noticed when you are sitting next to an end table or coffee table you are quick to pull anything you can reach off so I will enjoy the few non-mobile days we have left. We've been waiting since Christmas for you to decide it's time. 

You have yet to utter a "ma". Da, ba, ga, pbbbbbsssstttttt, almost everything *except* ma has escaped those lips. I guess I'll really know you mean it by the time it comes out.  

You still looove people and they love you too. You get lots of attention at the grocery store. Every now and then you don't want to be held by someone different but most often you'll sit with whomever will hold you. 

The clapping and the waving! How could I forget the clapping? One Sunday we set you down in the middle of the living room floor and tried to get you to crawl. Instead you started clapping. Funniest clap, you move one hand while you watch it hit the other. Turns out, Ms. Sharon at school has been coaching all you babies, telling you to clap for your mama's to come at the end of the day. You also picked up a little boogie. When music gets going you start rockin' back and forth. Sweetest ever.

Soon I will try to write a little "day in the life". You know, for memories sake. Because I bet one day I'll forget how you used to sit in the middle of our bed and watch us get ready every morning...or do you plan to keep doing that for a while? That'd be great actually, why don't you keep doing that.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

8 months!

jake. jakers, pumpkin.
baby boy - how can it be. 8 months already.

loves: bottles, paci's, chunks of bananas, pears, apples...sweet potatoes, mango, carrots, puff thingys, mama, dad, the dogs, your new rocking horse, yourself in the mirror or pictures or video, splashing in the bath, teasing mama by constantly saying "da" in response to any prompt, being mimicked, "dancing" or that cute little bop you do when you hear a beat, those Varela girls, school (daycare) and your friends there, his cousins

likes: his backseat mirror

dislikes: not being able to crawl, climb, stand, when the food runs out, ear infections, his new car seat?, his puffy red coat

I really need to write down the thought every time I think about what's changing. Tonight he scooted across the kitchen floor somehow. He was on the blanket in the middle of the floor and then he was in front of the stove, looking at his reflection and playing with his elephant blower toy. Ceramic tile makes it easy to kinda creep along I guess.

I gotta figure out how to do video on here. Cause the dancing thing - sooo cute. He'll do it to any beat. Occasionally he'll wave good bye too. I've started signing "more" as I give him more puffs on the tray or another hunk of banana, we'll see how long that takes to catch on. He smiles now when I do the sign, like he knows what's coming.

He's making the remembering big stuff easy on me. 1st tooth - Thanksgiving week. 2nd tooth - I noticed on Christmas Day. We nursed for the last time on New Years day. While I was sad to stop, it was the right time. I don't know how people bf for years and years. I didn't realize the effect it was having on me. I mean, I loved doing it, I will do it again should the occasion arise, but it is soooo nice to have my body to myself. The pressure to eat the right foods to produce enough and the pumping - ugh. It was a great journey.

I have been making most of his food. A friend is letting me use her baby Beaba and it is amazing. Chop, steam, puree. Done. I store it in 4 oz (4 ice cube) portions in ziplock snack size bags. Ms. Sharon feeds him A LOT so that's the easiest way to get it done for her and for home.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

I really do wish you all the best year ever. 

I know I will be *working hard* to enjoy every moment to it's fullest. 

it will not betray you
dismay or 
enslave you
it will set you free

be more like the man
you were made to be

there is a design, an ailment, 
a cry of my heart to see

the beauty of love
as it was made to be.

-M&S sigh no more