Monday, December 1, 2014

dad's train.

this weekend my brother-in-law set up my dad's old train set. it's been so many years since we've seen that train chug around the electric track. my dad loved that old thing. every christmas he brought brought it out, set it up with engineer precision- quietly, steadily, patiently. i have such beautiful memories of that train set. many of the models for the "village" were made by my dad's two hands. my dad loved that thing. (today i joking said to my mom, "i bet lot's of resentment was brewing while dad played with this set for hours while you handled two kids on your own." Ha! now that i'm a mama, i sure do know how annoying that might have been. (she smiled and nodded.)

today, as easton played with the train, i could imagine my dad in heaven, beaming at this little three year old. i could hear his laugh, and feel his joy. thank you God, for keeping my dad alive through happy things- like trains.

Monday, November 17, 2014

mama to a one year old.

 sailor boy is ONE. oh, my goodness. he is the sweetest little one year old i ever did see. today we spent the day hanging out with big brother, mama, and our dear friends Neena and Bear. sailor ate raspberries, a bite of a starbucks cake pop, cheese, and bananas.

today, on sailor's birthday, i cuddled and nursed, and gave so much love to my little baby boy. he seems  younger than easton did on his first birthday. maybe sailor seems so little because he needs so much love and attention. easton was so independent. by one year old, he wanted to be out of my arms and free to crawl free. sailor, he just wants to be snuggled. i love it.

sailor got a little black eye this morning. i was stepping over him to grab a piece of broken toy that easton had dropped on the ground- just as i stepped over him, i tripped on a train track and the toy he was holding swung up and hit him in the eye. ugh. my heart broke.

we celebrated sailor's birthday with a couple of pals at our house last night. we had pizza and cake and watched sailor "blow" out his one birthday candle. it was so nice. there was no hoopla, no big to-do. sailor is such a quiet little soul. he doesn't like a lot of attention on him. he likes to be right with his mama, brother, and daddy. we felt like throwing him a big first birthday bash would scare him more than excite him. so, we opted out. (he did get a little nervous while everyone sang around the birthday cake- he even cried).

we bought him a fisher price xylophone for his birthday present. he's been playing with it all day!

sailor, our sweet boy. we are so blessed.

 the picture below is what tony calls a "reversed Alfalfa" (like from little rascals). it's ALWAYS there. his hair is so weird.

those two. best friends. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

sleep training and lot's of cuddles.

we have been sleep training sailor-boy. for a very long time we have lived with NUMEROUS wakings ever single night- with little thought as to what (or if) we would do anything to "fix" the problem. one morning- tony and i were dead tired. we looked at each other and said, "enough." so, i went out and bought the sleep easy solution. this book gave lots and lots of great tips- but more importantly, it propelled me to get the ball rolling.

the first night we let sailor cry after his first waking for five minutes. tony walked in, patted his tummy and said "night night" (he was in there for less then 30 seconds). then we waited 10 minutes. tony went in, patted his tummy and said, "night night." then we waited 15 minutes, this time after tony went in, sailor stopped crying. after one hour, sailor woke up and we started the process again…except this time, we were already in bed and quite sleepy. so, after tony went in the second time- i set my alarm for 15 minutes (shut our door) and went back to sleep. i kept waking up to sailor squeaking, and thinking "well my alarm hasn't gone off yet so it hasn't been 15 minutes…" HA! my phone died. i realized it in the middle of the night- so, i went back to sleep. i thought- he's almost one year old. he can deal.

the next night, i closed sailor's door and put ear plugs in. either he hasn't woken up, or we haven't heard him. either way, it worked. he's now sleeping through the night (and napping better during the day). this exercise might sound extreme to some but for us, it was necessary. i knew he was safe, i knew he was tired, and i knew that if my husband and i didn't get some {freaking!!!!!} sleep- we would both run away from our children (probably to thailand).
the fun thing- easton shares a room with sailor, so we've had a little slumber party with him in our room for the past four nights. it's been great! easton has always slept in his own room, door shut, lights off- and we never really had a lot of quality sleepy cuddles with him. tonight we put him on the floor on his toddler bed mattress because it's just a little too tight in our queen bed with him in it. if sailor sleeps throughout the night for the next couple of nights, easton will go back to his shared room with sailor.

sleep issues are quite a hot button issue amongst the mama's i know. what i have learned over the years is that everyone needs to find the balance between their parenting philosophies and their own well being (and the child's well being of course). sailor has been cranky and tired lately. his awake time seems to lack quality because he's exhausted. forcing him to stay in his bed all night was the only thing i could try, to see if his temperament might change. seriously, after four nights of this- he's happier. plus, tony and i are SOOOOO happier because we are more rested too! HOORAY!

Monday, October 27, 2014

mama to an eleven month old.

i'm a little tardy on this post. sailor turned eleven months old last week!

sailor-boy has been crawling all over the place. his curiosity is flourishing and he's getting in to all sorts of things. baby proofing is in full swing! a baby gate has been added to the top of the stairs, and we MUST get some of those door stoppers on the cabinet that holds the garbage can and cleaning supplies (the cleaning supplies are from Melaluca and all of them are safe for kids to handle, but it's better if he doesn't waste

we stayed at our dear friend's house in los gatos for the last two weeks, where sailor learned to crawl up stairs (easton learned to crawl up the same stairs for the first time, too!). he also stood for the first time two weeks ago and has begun the learning process of "cruising." i put shoes on him for the first time two days ago- his little feet look so precious in easton's old mocs.

sailor is eating a lot and enjoying spaghetti most of all! sleep is (still!!) a horrible problem. we have started letting him cry it out on the first waking- hoping that very soon he'll, at the very least, sleep a four hour stretch without waking up. i am buying the sleep easy solution today, which will hopefully give me some solid sleep advice for this clingy little baby.

baby sailor-boy has been so playful lately. he pushes us, wanting us to "fall down," he mimics noises i make at him, he giggles at faces, and loves to destroy easton's train set (much to easton's annoyance). he looks like king kong crawling up to easton's elaborate train tracks on the floor, picking up the pieces and throwing them to the floor. it's pretty funny.

he totally has a mullet- but i can't bring myself to cut it. his hair, seriously gets crazier by the day.

easton at eleven months! (in case you wanna see ;)

Friday, October 17, 2014

easton's 'un-pinterest' birthday party.

although i absolutely love throwing swanky/detailed/chic parties, i really didn't feel like doing that for easton's third birthday. maybe i wanted to keep his party low key because i'm busy, maybe it's because i didn't want to spend a ton of money, and most importantly…i just wanted the kids to have fun and expend so much energy that they took a nice long nap when the left.

here's what we did to prepare.

i took easton to the dollar store to pick out his decorations. he chose dinosaur figurines, panda plates, a happy birthday banner, a special candle for his cake, and colorful balloons. i went to michaels and bought big canvases for all the kids and lot's of paint. i figured i could have painting a canvas double as a birthday party activity AND the party favor (who doesn't want a painted canvas hanging on their wall?!?).

for months, all i heard from easton was that he wanted a jumpy house and a chuggington birthday cake at his birthday party. SOOOOO, i bought two chuggington trains for his birthday gift and plopped those bad boys (with festive party hats that i made specially for them) on the cake and called it a day. i decided to splurge on the jumpy house (because i knew that the kids would have so much fun with it) and rented one that had a HUGE slide on one side.

the kids had so much fun- the food was great (togos sandwiches), and all the kids left with a painted canvas to hang on their bedroom walls. it was a beautifully simple birthday party, the kind that was JUST about kids having fun and not about making it look perfect. i loved it. easton really loved it (which is all that matters).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

do you meditate?

i have never been very good at sitting still (unless you count online browsing on but lately, life has felt really chaotic. sometimes the chaos makes me feel really out of control (pulling hair out of my head kind-a out of control) and sometimes it makes me feel full of joy (wow, my life is so full and blessed). no matter which state of being i'm in (out of control chaos or full of joy chaos), it's still chaos.

i've been feeling the need to take time out of my day to just 'be.' i find that unless i am totally intentional about relaxing my mind, it really doesn't ever shut off. i am constantly in a state of 'doing' and want to be better at just 'being.' i mean, I'M ALIVE! I'M HEALTHY!! these are things to be so grateful for- and instead of just letting time pass with the busyness of life- i want to savor some moments of my day.

on days that i work- i always make some sort of time to stop during my day and do a guided meditation. i use the app CALM to help me really focus on whatever it is i need to focus on that day. CALM's guided meditation range from things like, 'motivation,' 'anxiety release' (yes, please!), 'deep sleep,' and 'gratitude' (just to name a few). at night, usually right before the kids get home with tony, i try to get a session in. on days that i'm home with the kids all day, i do a guided meditation while they nap (if they happen to nap together).

the best thing about meditation is that i feel a lot more energized and calm then i would if i just take a quick power nap. meditating has so many health benefits- plus it helps to train your mind to focus (which i'm sure all of us can use practice on!)

i'm just wondering, do you meditate? have you always done it? have you noticed a difference since you started???

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


swimming alcatraz this past weekend was, without a doubt, one of the coolest things i've ever done. i loved being in the open water, swimming with like-skilled swimmers (like-skilled, is that a word), jumping out of a boat to begin my swim (that was what i was most fearful of), and finishing in really great time (48 minutes).

i certainly wasn't the fastest swimmer in the group, but my time might have been better had i not veered off course by about a quarter of a mile (damn those currents). it's such a odd feeling swimming in open water for such a long time- i think freedom is the best way i can describe it. i felt totally liberated, strong, and free. it was wonderful.

swimming in my dad's honor was sort of, cathartic. i felt so much love for him throughout that swim. i felt closer to him somehow. i'm not sure how to describe it in words- but i think the best way is this… it felt like he and i were in it together.

dementia took so much from him, my family, and all of those who loved my dad. swimming for him, raising money in his honor, these were tiny things- but they brought his name, his life, out of the darkness of death and into the light of life. that's all anyone can do after they lose someone they love. keep their memory alive. i've said this, i've written this so many times but it's still true- i am so humbled, so honored by all of the support i've received.

the joy i felt after finishing this race for my dad was indescribable. i'm thankful for these moments of joy because they make the loss of my dad bearable. thank you to those who supported financially, those who supported with kind words of encouragement and prayers. thank you, oh so much, dear friends. WHAT. A. GIFT.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

mama to a ten month old.

we had a big week last week. sailor turned ten months and the next day, easton turned three years. i am in heaven with my two little boys. they are amazing little people.

sailor is still a mama's boy. boy oh boy, does that baby want his mama. he cries for me all day long and wants very little to do with anything if i'm not right with him. he's starting to explore a bit more and crawls around the house looking at easton's toys and anything else he can find in arms reach. he has seven (yes, seven) teeth, and chews his food quite well. he doesn't like to eat when i'm around- i think it's because he would rather nurse.

sailor ends up in our bed every night sometime between eleven and midnight. he's been mimicking us lately- like when tony put his head on my stomach while we were laying in bed, sailor copied him. then tony perked his head up, and so did sailor. this lasted about fifteen minutes. play time is getting so fun. he is also really noticing expressions. i will sit with him and make different facial expressions and he laughs and laughs. is there anything better than making your baby laugh? i don't think so…

he weighs about 20 pounds and his hair is still crazy. i've always wanted to have a baby with long locks, but both of my kids hair has grown into mullets as babies. i have to cut it eventually. it really looks nuts. sailor throws himself down on the bed when he's upset that i won't come to him (like when i'm brushing my teeth in the bathroom).

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