Monday, December 31, 2012

A year of first, lasts and in-betweens

Another year has come and gone. Another calendar has filled itself up with birthday parties, toddler scribbling, doctor appointments, play dates and anniversary reminders. Another blank calendar sits on the corner of my desk, the empty spaces waiting for my pen markings. Exclamation marks signify a night away on the central coast with my love to celebrate the marriage of a very dear family friend. A balloon sticker marks the first birthday of my youngest daughter. A heart marks the third anniversary of a beloved cousin lost, while another heart circling the eighth of April marks my eighth wedding anniversary.


This year held lots of firsts and lasts for us. The first time we sold a house. The last time we walked the hallway of our little home on Bessemer Street. The first time I kissed Lily, moments after her birth. The last night we spent as a family of three, with Daisy wedged between us. The first day of work, teaching a new class, days after I signed the HR paperwork. The last time I patted my parents’ dog, Annie. The first time I left the girls with a non-relative babysitter, my first time as a marathon spectator. The last time I drove my blue CR-V, the last time I changed Daisy’s diaper. Lily’s first Christmas. 


I find myself remembering these moments, and I cannot help but think that 2012 was, for us, a year of transitions. A year of redefining our goals, a year of reprioritizing, a year of being intentional: in all that we do. I look forward to the New Year, starting out with waking up next to my love, our girls showering us with morning kisses, and knowing that whatever 2013 throws our way our family will tackle the first, lasts and in-betweens together.

Friday, December 14, 2012

On feeling hope

We were in the car, driving home, listening to NPR. A news reporter came on air, interrupting the typical programming, reporting on the horrific shooting in Newtown, Conn.

As I listened to the story, my eyes threatening with tears, I thought of the parents who lost their children today, not just their children, but the promise of a future: the loss of their unknown grandbabies, the loss of their happiness, and the loss of their comfort. I thought of how one man, one boy really, took away a piece of their life that they can never fully recover from.

I turned off the news cycle, unable to listen, feeling sick to my stomach. Instead, I found myself reciting the poem, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

I heard the bells on Christmas day / Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet the words repeat / Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,  / The belfries of Christendom. Had rolled along th’unbroken song / Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way. / The world revolved from night to day / A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, / Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

Then from each black, accursed mouth / The cannon thundered in the South,  / And with the sound / The carols drowned / Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

It was as if an earthquake rent / The hearth-stones of a continent, / And made forlorn / The households born / Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head: / There is no peace on earth’ I said‘ / For hate is strong, and mocks the song / Of peace on earth, good-will to men.’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:  / God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; / The wrong shall fail, the right prevail. / With peace on earth, good-will to men.’

I wish my daughters were inheriting a world where such deep hurt did not exist. I wish I could protect them forever from knowing loss, from knowing pain, from knowing that the world can be an unsafe place. The poem above speaks of despair, hopelessness over the state of humanity, but ultimately it speaks of hope. The bells sweet sound swell over the roar of the cannons and sanguinity is restored. The poem insists that God still influences the world, touches humanity, and the joyous Christmas bells proclaim God’s presence. The ringing bells unite the world in joy.

As we pull into the garage Daisy asks to make a Christmas project, while I hear Lily waking up from a short-lived nap, ready to nurse. I gather the girls into my arms, asking for kisses and hugs, them both freely dolling them out, I commit this moment, these hugs and slobbery kisses, to memory.

The words of Longfellow’s poem still ring in my heart as I set up the painting supplies for Daisy, put on Pandora, and get us set up for lunch. “I heard the bells on Christmas Day” reminds me of the enduring concept that despite tragedy, loss and warfare, there is within most of us the hope and wish for “peace on earth, good-will to men.”

And this is the real message of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On Turkeys, Marathons & Cleaning Sprees

How has the start of your holiday season been? Mine has been pretty nice, a bit chaotic, and has involved lots of sleepless nights, the eternal optimism in me thinks it has been mostly nice because it  has involved lots of cookies, online shopping and listening to Christmas music.

As for Thanksgiving, our little household hosted the big feast for all eleven our immediate family members. Both sets of grandparents, brothers and a girlfriend were all in attendance. On Wednesday night, right after I burned a boiling pot of peeled potatoes, the thought I kept having was this: you know that crack I was apparently smoking when I decided I could handle hosting Thanksgiving dinner? Get me some more of that. I’m going to need it.

But the day turned out fine, of course; better than fine, perhaps. We moved the table from the nook to take over the family area and gathered every chair I could find, and used a few of Daisy’s art projects and collected a couple pinecones as my tablescapes (and for the record, I had no idea what a tablescape was before the invention of Pinterest), and turned the lights down low so no-one could see the dog hair on the futon and the crumbs on the floor. I brought out my wedding china and mismatched some other sets of plates – and got everyone nice and liquored up before I told J it was time to carve the turkey. We feasted and laughed, told embarrassing stories, and drank plenty of wine.

Friday of Thanksgiving weekend consisted of family pictures, a delicious sushi lunch, furniture rearranging and a double date. Family eventually left leaving behind multiple dozens of cookies and several pies. We muddled through another week of sleepless nights, due to the unending energy of a teething 10 month old, all the while distributing leftover cookies and pies to neighbors and friends (of course, this is after I spent an entire two hour naptime dunking cookies into my never-ending cup of coffee). On Friday night J and I had a Parks & Recreation marathon after the girls’ bath and bedtime, and on Saturday we drove out to Sacramento right in front of a massive thunderstorm which local news and the Doppler had been threatening all week. And on Sunday, in the pouring rain J ran his second marathon, and he officially became “a runner.” Complete with war wounds and all.

He did a fabulous job, running all 26.2 miles in the rain and the wind and chilly weather on little sleep (did I mention the teething baby?), although I was never happier to go home and take a hot shower. Cheering on a loved one in a marathon is tough work.

Of course, the next week had J walking around like he was in his mid-seventies. On Thursday night, I forced a mini-celebration at Chez Stars of sorts, to celebrate the end of J’s long training and his completion of a 2012 goal and Lily’s new tooth. We toasted and drank and then realized that this was just the first of 20 teeth to make an appearance over the next year. On Friday, I promptly went out and bought another bottle of Advil, a huge container of teething tablets, and scotch.

Of course, then I had grand plans for this past weekend: sleeping in, writing a final exam, Christmas shopping, editing essays and homemade cioppino. However, sadly the stomach flu found our household, the 24 hour bug that took me down hard on Saturday, and left me ravenous on Sunday evening with a house that looked like a hurricane had hit, leading to yesterday’s long-overdue cleaning and purging rampage – tiresome but ultimately satisfying – which means I’m now typing this from a house with bare toy baskets, squeaky clean toilets and shiny floorboards that smell pleasingly of almonds.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A settlement of differences

When I was pregnant with Daisy, I read everything I could about parenting philosophies: attachment parenting, baby wise, co-sleeping and cry-it-out (CIO), bedtime routines and schedules. I read about the dangers of co-sleeping and the evils of CIO. I read about the pros and cons of pacifier use and the benefits of developing a breastfeeding relationship.

I swore up and down that I would never co-sleep, that my baby would sleep in their crib every night, all night long. And more often than not these days, at least one of our girls is in our bed at some point in the night. I swore that I would never endorse the CIO method, and yet I sit here researching those dreaded sleep-training practices, to help Lily fall and stay asleep at night and at nap. I swore that I was never going to let my baby use a pacifier. How could parents DARE let their innocent babes use pacifiers? Didn’t they know the correlation of ear infections or the long-term effects of their teeth? And yet, with Lily, I find myself keeping a pacifier in the front pocket of the ergo, in her car seat, another in the stroller and one or two in her bedroom. Just in case, you know?

For the most part, J and I have stuck to our guns. We wanted to cloth diaper and we did. We did not want to use formula and we have not. We wanted to make our own baby food and we have. We wanted to try baby wearing, and we have. We believe in family meal times, so regardless of time or place we eat at least one meal a day together as a family.

If I have learned anything over these past three years, however, it is that compromise is the name of the parenting game. I swore that I would never clothe a little girl in pink – and today my daughters’ closet looks like a Pepto Bismol commercial, complete with Disney princess logo clothing. I swore that I would not let my children watch TV – and most days of the week Daisy watches an episode of Curious George or Sesame Street while I make dinner or work. I thought I would never use a Sippy cup, but lo and behold, Sippy cups of water litter my home. And, of course, there are the pacifiers.

These are my nevers, the things I claimed that I would never do, and then so totally did. Most of the time there’s no need to compromise what you have faith in as a parent. But it seems to me that just about every parent compromises at least once.

Or, if they are like me, like five billion times.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Nine months later

To my little alligator,


Last Tuesday you turned nine months old. NINE MONTHS! At nine months of age, you give kisses on command, wave goodbye, and clap after each and every meal. You pull yourself up; you crawl up steps and give high fives. You babble and laugh and squeal and squawk. You splash in the bathtub; you pound on your wooden blocks, you crawl wickedly fast across the room to knock over big sister’s tower. You recognize the rhythms in your favorite books. And you scream.

Lily, my love, you have lungs made of steel and you aren’t afraid to use them.

You are not allowed to play in the dishwasher, screaming ensues. You are hungry: screaming. The sun is in your eyes: screaming. Your sister took your ball: screaming. You need your diaper changed: screaming. You don’t want your diaper changed: screaming. You milk teeth are cutting through: screaming. You’re not ready for a nap: screaming. You are ready for a nap: screaming. You have been awake for 30 seconds and no one has retrieved you to nurse: screaming.

It’s like you’re trying to make me lose my marbles.

Your father and I celebrated your nine-month birthday by dropping you and your sister off with your maternal grandparents and taking an overnight trip to Palm Springs. For the first 60 minutes in the car, we sat in silence, and enjoyed the peace. Then, we decided to check in and see how it was going. We hung up seconds later when we heard the screaming. We decided it was good to be away.


Your sister was dressed as a rainbow ballerina fairy (although she added her new Mouse ears from our recent Disneyland trip, she’s missing her decorated wings, and you can’t see her rainbow-hued wand) and you were the cutest little monkey for Halloween.

ali_9mo_1 You have already learned the way to my heart: your smile.

Besides suffering mild hearing loss, you are such a joy to be around. People constantly exclaim at what a happy baby you are, smiling, laughing and flirting. You love to be held, you love to cuddle, and you love to be within an arms distance of me. I’ll tell you, it’s the ultimate ego booster. You seriously HATE to get your diaper changed and fight through the whole ordeal, and if I make a split-second falter, you’re already halfway across the room with a naked bum staring back at me. It’s hard to believe that you are the same helpless newborn we brought home from the hospital nine months ago. I am constantly amazed at how much you have changed in such a short time. While you’ll always be my baby, I’m beginning to catch glimpses of the toddler you are becoming, and I see many temper tantrums in our future.

But, Lily, my love, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky and the waters in the ocean.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012


It’s the perfect sort of morning. Quiet. Light. We eat breakfast: yogurt drizzled with pureed strawberries, leftover from our frozen farmer’s market stash, topped with crunchy homemade granola. We hop like kangaroos across our tiny backyard. We feed the dog. We nurse. We water our lime tree and our herb garden. We read library books. We run a load of laundry. We walk to the neighborhood bookstore to buy a birthday gift and catch the end of story time. Lily naps tucked inside the Ergo. We sing silly made up songs. We feed the ducks. We recite poetry. We tell stories of princesses and dragons and far-away castles. We eat peanut butter sandwiches on our way home underneath the shade of a tree. We sing Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink. We fly like butterflies and slither like snakes across the grass in the park. We color and glue and cut.

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We cuddle at naptime, all three of us stretched out in bed. Snuggling. Nursing. Reading story after story. Singing “Daisy” and “Sunshine.” I think of the papers to grade, the essays to edit, the laundry to fold, but instead, I hold my girls just a little bit tighter, sighing deeply as I drift off to sleep.

The perfect sort of morning is exhausting. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The next Picasso

I have been trying to establish a painting or art day with Daisy (and eventually Lily). We do so many things together. We read and play with blocks. We sing songs, recite poetry and work on oral narration. We play with play-dough and cloud dough and ooblick. We color with crayons and markers. We make chalk drawings. We go on field trips and adventures, but we hardly ever paint.


Painting day was Wednesday. Yesterday, after naps we gathered supplies: paint brushes, trucks to make paint tracks, leaves and acorns to use as stamps, a pie tin to hold the paint, and a bowl of clean water, and her scrap paper for her canvas.


I left Daisy running her cars through the paint and onto her paper in a very civilized fashion while I return an important phone call. Not even three minutes later, I looked up and thought a smurf had exploded in our backyard. Blue paint was everywhere. And I watched her paint the slide, her legs, her hair, the walls. Daisy was still painting when I left for work.


Painting day was on Wednesday. Last night when I got home from class, J told me I needed to find another day.

And all I can say is thank goodness for washable paint.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Psalm 103

It’s been nearly a month since my last post. I’ve started one several times, sitting down to write out a blurb and post a few pictures in reference to Lily’s recent baptism. We had family come and celebrate from out of town. We toasted with old and new friends. But, as is typical in September, life started to run away from me.

When we first approached our pastor about baptizing Lily, he requested a meeting to discuss baby baptism. He asked us, Why? Why do you want to baptize Lily? We gave the standard responses: it’s a rite of passage, it’s an affirmation of faith as parents, it’s the beginning of a lifelong journey. He seemed satisfied, even impressed, with our answers. We scheduled our date.

For many reasons, I don’t talk much about my faith. I don’t talk about it here, in a public forum. I don’t bring it up in conversations unless prompted. As a Methodist, I shy away from evangelism, as an introvert, I withdraw from controversial topics. I rarely talk to the girls about religion, even. I tell Bible stories, and we read from our Children’s bible, but I never talk about praying or praising. We don't memorize scripture. We seem to focus instead on learning our letters and shapes, reading fairy tales, instilling a sharing heart, a happy attitude and proper bathroom etiquette.

And then, two weeks ago, Casey, our beloved seven year old mutt became sick, really sick. I packed up the girls, loaded up the diaper bag, carried Casey to the car and headed out to the vet. While we were waiting for lab results, we walked to Starbucks for some fresh air and a much needed caffeinated afternoon boost. I was tired with a pounding headache, and I was worried about the mounting veterinary bills. 

On our way back to the vet, Daisy asked if Casey would be okay. She told me she was nervous and scared. I realized, right then, that it matters not if and when I baptize my children, but to teach them to trust and to praise – no matter our circumstance. Instead of just reassuring Daisy as I normally do, I stopped right there, and we sat down on the curb of the parking lot. My toddler sitting next to me, my newly baptized baby resting in the Ergo, mocha in hand and diaper bag falling off my shoulder. We stopped and we prayed. We gave our worries to God, we prayed for health for Casey, for ourselves. We thanked Him for His goodness. We asked Him to instill joy in our hearts, gratitude for grace and mercy and for the life of Jesus to spill over into our everyday actions.

As we sat on the curb, I recited Psalm 103: Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name! And forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from destruction; Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  

This is why I baptized my children. I want to teach my girls to pray, no matter where and when. I want to teach Daisy and Lily to trust in the Lord, to hand our worries over to Him. To worship His name. And yes, I don’t need to baptize my girls to do this, but hey, it’s a great reason to drink champagne.

Ps: Casey is now, after much prayer and medication, back to her squirrel chasing, cookie-loving self. It seems that she has Addison’s disease, and was suffering from Addisonian crisis. We are all very happy, and Casey seem to think we should celebrate with a nightly scoop of vanilla ice cream. She usually gets it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Letter to my monkey: 30 months

Dear Daisy,

Emily Dickinson, an American poet, once wrote, We’d never know how high we are, til we are called to rise; if we are true to plan, our statures touch the sky.

I want to pass that one to you because these past few months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. Between another fast move, freelance working picking back up, a new teaching gig, potty learning and regular summer busyness your routines and rhythms have been thrown for a loop.

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For me, it’s easy to get sucked into the daily inconveniences and detours of life. But, this quote reminds me of what’s really important and what’s not worthy of more than a moment of our time and attention. To slow down, to stop multitasking every moment away. Basically, the lesson I’m trying to teach you my love is that the true measurement isn’t in what happens to us, but how we deal with it. I want us to remember that sometimes our plans don’t always work out the way we wish, and we need to rise above the clouds to get a fresh perspective. 

Moving on to a lighter note, there are three really big cool things that have happened these past six months. The first one is that you use the toilet almost all by yourself. It’s freaking amazing. 

Second is your verbal development. It seems to be out of this world. Not only have you have added a whole slew of words to your arsenal including “lethargic” “gorgeous,” “vital” and “nervous,” but now differentiate between greens, blues and reds, also using adjectives such as “lime” to “aqua” and “ruby” for various shades. Not only has your vocabulary been blowing my mind, but you speak in full and complete sentences with minimal grammatical errors. Well, except that you use your ballet terms as verbs, such as “Momma, I’m arabesquing.”

Lastly, you and your sister have started interacting more. This is quickly becoming my favorite thing. You are sharing with her, laughing with her and playing with her. You sit and read to her, comfort her when she’s crying and teach her animal sounds and numbers. Sometimes you are jealous when she’s taking my attention, but at the end of the day; a sister is a blessing. You will always, no matter what, have each other. And try as I might, I simply cannot think of anything more beautiful than that.


Yesterday you turned two and half years old. Thirty months. We spent the morning reading, we took a long walk, played puzzles, and had tea in your kitchen. In the afternoon you pretended to be a dinosaur. You helped slice the heirloom tomatoes for marinara sauce and we enjoyed homemade popsicles as an afternoon snack. We had dinner al fresco. In the morning when you woke up snuggled up in my arms, you told me that you could touch the sky. Your hands were waved high into the air, stretched as far as you could reach, fingers wriggling.

Oh, little sunshine, never stop reaching. Everyday, reach just a little bit higher.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky and the water in the ocean.



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another day, another move

Moving sucks, there is no other way to describe it. And here at Chez Stars, we are nearing the end of another move. And I know the next thing you’re going to ask is, didn’t you JUST move? And you’d probably say next that having moved twice in the span of six months I’d be a pro at it, but in all honestly, I think I’m getting worse. For this move, it was somewhat sudden, and we were moving a mere eight miles up the road, to another rental, so I ended up procrastinating and threw bed sheets into boxes with cereal bowls and boxes of books mixed with office supplies and toddler-sized hair ties. And in the unpacking I am now paying the price.

The thing with moving is that it always takes so much longer than you think it will. If you think it’ll take two days, it takes four. If you think it’ll take four days, it takes a week – and sometimes you will wake up in the morning trying to locate your toddler’s clothes so she won’t have to wear the same read swimsuit cover-up disguised as a dress for the fifth day in a row and think WILL I EVER BE DONE?

themovingafter Just as an FYI, moving with a toddler, baby and a dog never helps matters.

I guess the bright side of moving, if there is one, is that it gives you a chance to really decide if all your stuff is worthy of making that eight mile trek. Of course, then you have to meticulously record each item going into the donation pile, and bag it up, and transport it over to your nearest Goodwill donation stop. Personally, after this move I’m not sure which is easier. Although, I will question any book brought into this house to stay.

And of course, once everything has made the move over, you then are surrounded by a disaster of half unpacked boxes and  furniture.  But at least it’s a different kind of disaster, I guess, one peppered with the sporadic frisson of excitement that comes with deciding where to put the spice rack in the kitchen. Don’t pretend like that doesn’t make you happy.

Anyways, the worst is over, I think, only a tiny sliver left. Although, the “tiny sliver” is clearing out the garage which is where we placed all the stuff deemed “miscellaneous” which basically means we still can’t park the cars in there yet. But what’s breaking down boxes, reorganizing yard tools and storing high school year books when you’ve packed and unpacked the bulk of your life already, you know? 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Half a year

Dear Lily,

Over the weekend we gave you your first bite of solid food: freshly steamed and pureed carrots. Carrots that your sister and I picked out from the farmer’s market. You eyed those orange babies while I peeled them. You drooled while you sat on my hip watching while I whirled them in the food processor. You smacked your lips while I spooned them into a bowl. We sat down to eat dinner, baby spoon in hand. Ready to feed you your first bite. Instead, you yanked the spoon from my fingers and jammed it in your mouth on your own.

That, my love, basically sums up your first six months of life: Independence. When I carry you in the Ergo, you squirm and contort your body so that you can face outward. You love to be outside, watching the world go by. Sitting among the other children, watching them play.

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I have loved watching your personality develop over these last few months. Driven by this independent spirit, your father and I now fear for your teenage days. Most people, grandparents, aunties, friends and strangers alike, exclaim at what a happy and personable baby you are, constantly smiling, laughing and gurgling. This is all true, but darling, they are not around when your wrath is unleashed. You can scream and cry and carry on with the best of them, complete with huge dramatic sighs, shudders and crocodile-sized tears. My parents tell stories that I was the best door slammer to walk the earth. I suspect you may take over my title.


While you are only six month old, you are roughly 18 pounds, and nearly 28 inches long. Your giant baby genes astound much of the population. Most people are amazed when I claim you are a wee six months old. In fact, last week a young lady told me to “shut the front door” when I said that you were not quite six months yet. So, I did. But, these thunder thighs come in handy when you play in your jumper. You can get some solid air bouncing, belly-laughing and having so much fun. You like to listen to the music, spin the ducks, but what you really like is to jump. The higher, the faster, the better.

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As your first half year of life comes to a close, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how to tell you just how loved and adored you are. I cannot think of just the right words, though, and then last week while we laid in the grass soaking up some vitamin D, the words flew off the page of Wherever You Are by Nancy Tillman. They sum up perfectly just how I feel:

I wanted you more than you will ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go. In the green of the grass. In the smell of the sea. In the clouds floating by. At the top of a tree. In the sound crickets make at the end of the day. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. They all say.”

Little bumblebee, you are so loved, loved more than all the stars in the sky and the waters in the ocean.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Love stinks

The other day I met one of my closest friends in Berkeley; we met for a girl’s night out: dinner and drinks and pedicures. We had a blast talking about our girls, swapping stories, and general catching up. I treated myself to a pair of cute dragonfly earrings when I went into a shop to make change. I picked out a bright, teal-colored toenail polish. I listened to Bob Dylan and Tom Petty on my 40-minute drive. I loved the few hours break from nursing and potty-training, trading it for drinking beer, laughing, a foot massage, and… the smell of Indian food. 

I stood waiting a few minutes standing in front of the restaurant, with the aromatic smell of garlic and burnt oil mixing in the air, and something about it stirred in me a longing for the times that Andy and I went out for Indian food. The buttery naan, the faint fragrance of coconut married with coriander. The memory dropped on me like a ton of bricks: the night in London, after one too many beers, laughing way too hard, and tracking down the best place for Chicken Tikka Masala in all of Britain. I could almost see the street; almost remember the conversation, the view hazy from the years of separation.

Smell is such a powerful sense. Sometimes I’ll be running in the early morning and I’ll catch the faint scent of dirt and the hot air and suddenly I’m 18 again, running along the American River Trail, chatting with my teammates. Coppertone sunscreen equals days on end at Lake Mead. The aroma of freshly cut grass reminds me of my Dad, working in the yard every Saturday morning. Freshly baked bread will forever remind me of my mother. And, now the smell of curry mingled with paprika reminds me of Andy. 

Ahh, love really does stink.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A generally boring life update

Internet, it’s been a month since my last post. I want to tell you that I’ve been busy reading War & Peace and curing cancer or at least tell you that I finally found the perfect shade of lip gloss. Instead I’ve been voraciously devouring The Hunger Games, editing soon-to-be-high school senior’s college application essays, and organizing my photos from 2011. Last week, the girls and I were visiting my parents so of course, I also spent copious amounts of time with a wine glass in hand sitting on the front porch. Instead of boring you with all the details, I thought I’d give a general update on the going-ons in the Chez Stars household:

Jumping! Jumping! Jumping! Daisy finally knows how to jump! Let me tell you about this!

At Daisy’s two year appointment, the pediatrician asked me if Daisy knew how to jump. “Jump, I asked?” Yes, she replied, and then I got up and jumped. Yes, you just read that correctly, I demonstrated jumping for the doctor. I never realized that was a developmental milestone. In the subsequent months I have been bunny hopping around our backyard, the park, the sidewalk, so often that my quads practically scream just thinking about it. We practiced being frogs, rabbits and Tigger. We hopped through Trader Joe’s. And finally a few weeks ago, Daisy really put together how to jump. Like, with both feet leaving the ground. Simultaneously. And, hovering above ground for a fraction of a second. And then coming back down at the same time. ISH. And she says “JUMP” Every. Single. Time. I love it. So, now, of course, her favorite mode getting from point A to point B is to jump.


French! French! Let me tell you about the miniscule progress I am making in learning and teaching French!

I have always loved French: the language, the culture, the history. I studied it (read: loosely, very loosely) in high school. A little bit more in college, and then completely abandoned it until I was pregnant with Daisy. Part of it was because I had to complete so many hours of foreign language learning for my master’s degree. Part of it was my newfound interest in linguistics and language acquisition. Part of it was a rekindling of my passion for all things French. But, I started slowly incorporating the French language around our household. It was hard, I had trouble remembering the words and tunes to nursery rhymes I’d never heard before. My reading was very slow, my vocabulary very limited, and my accent dreadful. Honestly, when I speak French I feel like a Texan with a swollen tongue. I worried that I was pursuing this all in vain. That Daisy (and now Lily) thought I was crazy, speaking jibberish to them. But, I still spent early mornings studying French grammar and naptimes watching French cartoons and car-trips listening to French songs and stories. And finally, a year into this journey, Daisy is finally using French words that we read in books, singing French songs, and correcting my pronunciation. Yes, my nearly two and half year old daughter corrects my pronunciation in French. I have never been so proud.

I am becoming more of a hippy. Let me tell you how my republican background is cringing at the thought!

I cloth diaper, I nurse my babies, and I shop farmer’s markets. I make all my own baby food. I use bio-degradable dish soap and stainless steel sippy cups. I loathe Wal-Mart and love Etsy. But, lately my hippie characteristics are becoming more evident. We have recently cancelled cable and are now are officially a television-free household. I have been purging our plastic, electronic toys in favor of wood blocks, puppets and natural paints. And, last weekend I nursed Lily in the Ergo waiting in line for The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. My transition started out innocently enough, I was wearing Lily at our local (completely empty) park and there wasn’t a dry place to sit and Daisy didn't want to stop and I didn’t bring my cover. So, I loosened the straps, lowered my tank, and snapped on the hood. And then, a few weeks later we were walking around Fisherman’s Wharf, heading back to our car parked blocks away rushing in order beat the traffic coming home. And then, on last Saturday I nursed my girl among throngs of people, my mom, my dad, and had not a care in the world. At least I haven’t started wearing tie-dye yet.

Oh shoot, I’m already there:


And today we're playing with cloud dough, reading stories, and building block castles. Sometimes boring is good. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Amazing Daddy

Parenthood was never a conversation J and I had while we were dating, or even engaged. It was sort of unspoken, just assumed that we both would eventually want children, when the time came. It was just assumed that we would have similar parenting philosophies. I’m sure we would have failed any sort of pre-marital counseling with that statement, but I never worried. I just knew that J would make a phenomenal father, and that was just one of the many reasons I married him.


An impromptu reading/cuddle session on the couch. This is Daisy’s new “I’m smiling” face. Adorable, right?

I knew that he would be patient. I knew that he would do puzzles and build block towers. I knew that he would pour endless love onto each one of our children. I knew he would play catch in the yard. I knew that he would bend over backwards to make sure he provided for his family. However, I did not know that he would put on elaborate puppet shows. I did not realize that he would get up in the middle of the night to comfort a toddler, or wake up early in the morning to spend one-on-one time with his newest baby girl.

Not that anyone is surprised, but J took to fatherhood like a fish to the sea. He is amazed by every millimeter of his daughters. He will laugh and play and rock and read and cuddle with them no matter what time of day or how much he has to do. He is constantly commenting on how incredible they are, how much he adores them, and how they are the very best part of his life.


Victory, I’m sorry UCLA fans, but these girls are Trojans…

And, what I’m trying to say, is that while J may never get his pajamas into the hamper, he is undoubtly the very best of part our lives too.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quatre mois

My dearest Lily,

I love you. I love you. I love you. Je t’aime, ma petite chou. 

four months

I have written you several letters, and at the end, I always tell you that I love you, but today I want to put it first. I hope that I never forget to tell you that I love you. Everything else, ma belle, can wait.

Yesterday marked your four month birthday. You are a whopping 15 pounds 13 ounces and 26.25 inches, which puts you squarely in the GIANT category, or what others call the 98th percentile. Lily, there is nothing dainty or petite about you from your unbelievable amounts of drool to your big, hearty, baby laughs. We love to hear those beautiful sounds and your father and I will dance around and generally act buffoon-like in order to hear you laugh, but the only one who can constantly garner giggles is your big sister. Oh Lily, how you love your big sister. Sometimes I set you up on your blanket for tummy time in your sister’s room, and I come back minutes later to find you both snuggled up together laughing and gurgling. Daisy loves to tell you stories, stories about butterflies and fairies, and you just gaze up at her adoringly. I hope you two always continue to laugh together, to have fun together, and to share your stories. 

4 mo2

Besides laughing with Daisy, your ultimate favorite activity is to snuggle and cuddle. All you want to do is to nuzzle and cuddle and lay in someone’s arms, usually mine. You love it when your grandparents bounce you. You love it when your daddy makes funny faces at you. You absolutely love it when Daisy plays peek-a-boo with you. But, more than anything, you love snuggling up next to me, nestling into my chest and flashing that beautiful baby grin up at me.

Of course, I am the ultimate indulger of this behavior since one of my favorite things to do is to love on you. So we end up spending huge chunks of every day just sitting in the nursing chair or lying on the floor of your room nursing, giggling with your sister, reading, singing French lullabies, and snuggling. I cherish this time together and hope that you take your sweet time growing out of this phase.

4 mo7

Actually, just take your time growing up. Period.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky and the waters in the ocean.



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yes, another post on food


I had a whole different post lined up and written in my head – what, they don’t count when you write them in your head? – but having managed to spend the entirety of naptime on the couch, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy (OMG!) eating spoonful after spoonful of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter instead, and so that one’s going to have to wait.

And what is this Cookie Butter you ask? Basically it’s like a delicious combination of crushed up gingerbread cookies and peanut butter. Except, well, it doesn’t taste like peanut butter at all, but resembles it only in texture. The back of the jar claims you can spread it on toast, waffles, dip pretzels or even celery (yeah, I had to read that twice too. Hey, whatever means it takes for you to eat a vegetable, I’m in), but I’ve actually only had it from jar to spoon to mouth, sometimes alongside a few chocolate chips. Yes, in that picture you do see a baby spoon. It’s the perfect size to savor each bite.)

If you do not live near a Trader Joe’s, I apologize. This post has probably angered you heartily. If, however, you do, I suggest you run – run, not walk – to your nearest Trader Joe’s and pick up a jar of this bad boy. Then call me. I’ll come over with my baby spoon and a bag of chocolate chips. We can do some serious damage.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The picture of beauty

She is dressed in a striped hot pink and orange skirt with a Minnie Mouse polka dot swimsuit top, four or five strings of beads hang around her neck, the faint tracings of her afternoon snack of blackberries around her lips and dirt caked underneath her fingernails.  “I look so beautiful, Momma,” she says. Her brown eyes glitter with delight.

To me she is the picture of beauty.


One the way home, Daisy is perched on my back nestled in the Ergo while Lily rides stretched out in the stroller, gurgling and laughing at the silly faces I make for her.

“Momma,” Daisy says, “I saw a fairy. She was aqua,” spurting out her new favorite color name, “and pink. And purple, Momma. She had purple wings. So beautiful.” She tells me she can fly like fairies as she brushes my hair. She leans her head down, gives me a squeeze, “I am so happy, Momma. So happy.”

To me, this is the most lovely sentence in the English language.  

One day, my girls will be older and beads and sand and fairies will be forgotten. One day, they will be older and they will think it was silly to ever have believed they could fly. And one day, they will be older and not have time for pretend tea parties or to dig holes in the sand or build castles made of wooden blocks with their momma.

But for now, they are little and innocent and the imagination is beginning to emerge. We arrive back at our house, unload and stretch out on the front grass to wait for daddy.

And to me, in this moment, I have never seen anything so beautiful.


Monday, May 07, 2012

Red wine and old friends

So, I realized that I never told you about our trip to San Diego. Driving nine hours with a sick toddler and a newborn to walk up and down switchbacks to look at lions, and tigers and bears (and we didn’t even SEE any tigers! But, the elephants were by far the favorite) in 90 degree heat. Did I mention Daisy was sick? Did I mention we had a newborn who prefers to eat every two hours, and will let you know of her displeasure with blood-curdling screaming? On the upside, we spent 48 hours with my parents, brother and his girlfriend telling bad jokes, people watching and drinking beer. So, you really do not need a recap. (Except you need to see this picture. How cute are they?)


Because now I would like to talk about my weekend! What did you do for your weekend? For our weekend, we drove to Healdsburg and enjoyed good friends, good food and good wine. Saturday morning was a picture-perfect spring day, so J, Daisy, Lily and I hightailed it up to Sonoma County.

You have to understand, J and I are not very good at Doing Things with our weekends. Mostly our weekends consist of doing errands and chores, paying bills, folding laundry, taking the dog to the park, Church on Sunday morning, watching an overdue Netflix DVD, reading our books in the backyard. Occasionally we go to the Farmer’s Market. If we BBQ with friends AT OUR HOUSE, alert the San Francisco Chronicle. On Mondays at my standing park playdate, my new friend will ask “what did you guys do this weekend? We cooked gourmet dinners for a local homeless shelter, took the kids on a family hike, and led a parenting seminar before we tutored a few refugee orphans!” And I say, “uh, our biggest achievement was  getting to church on-time. Also, we each went to the gym.”


So for us, a day trip to Sonoma County was quite a feat. We had lunch at the Dry Creek General Store (I had the General’s Club sandwich and a cookie, and maybe like half of J’s racer 5 IPA, whatever, I would have asked too) before splitting a bottle of wine at John Tyler Winery. We talked and laughed, reminiscing on old memories and catching up on life. We laid on the grass in Healdsburg Square, watching Daisy splash in the water of the fountain where we shared another bottle of wine. We talked and laughed and gazed at cute babies, and wrapped it all up with pizza for dinner. 


And on Sunday? Well, we didn’t even make it to Church.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

All about my brother

Last weekend our family of four headed down to San Diego to spend Easter weekend with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend. Did you know that I had a brother? I don’t talk about him much, but today I figured I’d print an embarrassing picture of him on the Internet, so everyone can see how much he resembled Benjamin Button when he was six. (Also, check it out, we totally have the same hairstyle – I guess Short Uneven Bangs was a huge look in 1986 - at least in whatever style magazine my mother was reading.)


My baby brother’s birthday is today. I can barely believe Matt is 30 because I still feel like I’m about 15, and that would make him 13, in which would make it 1995, which would mean I was perpetually adding sun-in to my hair in attempt to create “natural” blond streaks and wearing oversized flannel shirts, and man I’m glad he is 30 because that means I’m almost 32 wearing my hair in a ponytail, smelling like baby spit-up procrastinating on an editing assignment, but really I’m alternating between Facebook and Words with Friends. It also means I am no longer listening to Alanis Morissette, THANK GOD.

As the older sister, I have done some horrible things to Matt over the years. When he was two or three, I started dressing him up in my clothes, putting his hair in pigtails, smearing my mom’s lipstick over his face and pretending he was my new sister. I’m fairly certain this continued until he was four or five. It’s a miracle he’s become a strapping, well-adjusted, kind-hearted guy and not a self-tortured introvert who strangles kittens. He does still have a penchant for pink (oh, excused me salmon) colored shirts, though. And he totally can’t grow a beard.


Aside from posting these pictures (don’t you love these? I have no idea what we were doing in the above picture, perhaps gearing up a career as professional golfers? And yes, indeed I am wearing a Grover visor. Doesn’t it just rock the house?) I also sold Matt my used Hootie & the Blowfish CD in 1996 for more than I’d paid for it, told him countless times that he was adopted (coming up with elaborate stories about his birth family), and convinced him that the dogs kibble was his lunch one day.  

These days I know that I am much more sentimental about the sibling relationship that I was in 1996. Siblings are your first friends, and Matthew was mine. We may have not always gotten along, and he may have embarrassed me (and I him, although I think that’s hard to believe) on more than one occasion. But I am so fiercely proud my little brother, and the person that he’s become. 


(What, you don’t wear glittered top hats and paper crowns on a random Saturday afternoon?)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

And here’s to many more

J and I celebrate seven years of marriage on Easter Sunday. I feel like five minutes ago I was drinking champagne with my bridesmaids eager to get this show on the road. I blinked. Now we’re here.

palm sunday4

I’m amazed by how much we’ve changed over the last seven years. These days you eat kale chips and spend the majority of our dinnertime discussion on your afternoon run. I opt for ballet classes, long walks and look for messy art projects to complete with Daisy. You aren’t as democrat; I’m not as type A. I think we bring out the best in each other.

I don’t remember much from our wedding day, really it was just a big blur. But, one memory I remember so very clearly is the two minutes I spent walking (eh, for anybody who was there, I guess it was more like a 20 second sprint) up the aisle with my dad, I thought, then and there, that I was probably the happiest I had ever been in my life. I remember smiling and laughing like a complete idiot for the entire day – I just couldn’t stop. And even now, seven years later, I only have to think of standing at the front of the church, staring into your eyes, and I still smile. And I guess if I’m lucky, I always will.

I am so glad J, so very glad that you married me. I know that I say that a lot, but I mean it. I love you.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Three surprising things I miss about LA

When we moved up north I knew without a doubt there were many things I was going to miss, including Jinky’s whole wheat blueberry pancakes, but I never realized that I might miss something as simple as my laundry room (I think this might now be the most suburban thing I’ve ever said).

1. My Pediatrician

I’ll be honest; I didn’t realize how awesome Dr. Santana was until I started seeing our new pediatrician in Walnut Creek. At every visit Dr. Santana was encouraging, sensitive, and provided me with her opinion, plus followed up with written research to any questions I had – vaccines, bilingual education, solid foods, and this disgusting eye goop, eh problem, Daisy had when she was a few weeks old (well, she didn’t provide me with any recent studies on that, but she reassured me when I was in hysterics because I was CERTAIN she was going blind.) She never made me feel rushed or stupid, and always made me feel comfortable. She, as well as all of Kaiser Sunset and its affiliated medical offices are extremely baby friendly, which basically meant that they went above and beyond to ensure that I succeeded in nursing Daisy for as long as we both wished. This is not to say that I do not like the girls’ new pediatrician, I’m, let’s just say, not over the moon about her. But, I’m hoping she grows on me.

2. My Laundry Room

I always hated our laundry room. It was tiny, awkwardly positioned and dimly lit. However, what I didn’t realize was how extremely loud and inconvenient it would be to NOT have a laundry room. Currently, our laundry facilities are in our main hallway, i.e. right in the middle of the house. Gone are the days of starting a load of laundry at night or hiding the dirty linens behind the pocket door. And now, let’s just say I lust after luxurious laundry rooms – a sink, shelves, a door oh my!!

3. My Farmer’s Market

I know, I know; I now live in the land of u-pick orchards and farmer’s market galore. However, I loved, loved everything about our little market. The time, Tuesdays from 3 – 7pm perfectly coincided with Daisy’s afternoon nap and my work schedule. It was small enough that I could let Daisy run loose, but big enough that I would be able to get my eggs, chicken, and beef not to mention any fruits and vegetables we needed for the week. I knew the farmers and the vendors, and they were always happy to give samples to a little pint-sized eater. Plus, my friend Ari had the most amazing, melt-in-your mouth sundried tomatoes and sheep’s cheese that added the perfect zip to my morning scrambled eggs. And as a little bonus, my friends and our gaggle of kids would meet at the market together. We’d swap recipes while the toddlers would burn off excess energy sampling juicy, organic, local fruits and veggies. These days, I’m still learning to love our local market – it’s Saturday mornings, which has made it more of a family affair with a trip to a nearby park. It’s much bigger which means there is a healthy supply of delicious dried fruit, the best carrots I’ve ever tasted, and my new friend Denise who makes the softest cinnamon chip cookies ever.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A photo essay: This week

We’ve had a busy week – a week with plenty of sunshine, which means we spent a good portion of each day outdoors. And so, in lieu of a written post, I present to you an essay of our week with iPhone photos.







Unfortunately, I have very few pictures of Lily these days. It seems she’s either: a) sleeping b) eating (and I’m far too prudish to post (let alone take! eek!) pictures of me nursing) or c) being carried in the Moby so, unfortunately, this is the only photo I have of her. I believe this is what they call the “classic second kid syndrome.” I must remedy this somehow so that when she’s sixteen she can’t tell me I didn’t love her because I only have one picture of her, which unfortunately is the back of her head.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The best kind of job

These days my life is charmingly low-key. I know that I have a toddler and a newborn, so technically life shouldn’t be so low-key. My days revolve around nap schedules and scheduling park play dates, a far cry from my fall schedule with papers to grade and essays to edit and weekend marathon training. I know that I am insanely lucky to be blessed with not one, but two amazingly calm and peaceful baby girls. Perhaps this is my reward for making it through nine grueling months of all-day nausea and endless nights of insomnia or maybe my payback will come when the girls rebel at sixteen, dying their hair purple and slamming their bedroom doors. But, this new momma of two is somehow clocking in 6 hours of consistent nightly sleep before the first feeding (and then another three or four hours…please don’t hate me.)

On Saturday, the weather was cool and overcast and with the threat of rain for the upcoming week, we decided to make it an outdoor kind of day with a trip to the farmer’s market and to the park. (It pains me a bit to admit that I feel that I have arrived at middle-aged suburbia where we watched a mid-morning little league game of COMPLETE STRANGERS. Eh, it’s baseball; we had fun nonetheless.) Daisy circled the park on her new trike, Casey chased squirrels and Lily napped against my chest in a makeshift sling. It was then, watching my loves, that I realized with startling clarity just how much I love motherhood.


Later that afternoon Daisy and I went outside to plant a few herbs in the garden. After losing interest in planting the mint, she begged me to blow bubbles. At first, I feigned interest wanting to finish before it got too late, but after watching her face light up with each bubble she “caught” my heart skipped a beat. I sat down, and for thirty minutes I blew bubble after bubble watching her squeal with delight, running to catch the bubbles and watching them with the upmost fascination. A few minutes later, she reached over for an unprompted hug, kiss and a “thank-you momma” making my heart melt before shouting “more bubbles momma, MORE BUBBLES!”

And I thought back to all that time I’d spent as a teenager, wondering what career I wanted to have come sharply into focus: the kind of job where I spent my afternoons naming zoo animals in French, nursing babies, and blowing bubbles. You don’t know it then, of course, or at least you aren’t really able to explain it. But, it’s the perfect job for me, I’m telling you.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another birthday: TWO

My darling,


It seems like mere hours since we brought you home from the hospital, and not two years. I am aghast at how fast the days are going by, and I now have an appreciation for the cliché advice to enjoy every moment as they really do blaze on by. The other night, while you laid in my arms, I thought how there is a fragment of my heart that hurts thinking that the toddler in my arms – long legs spilling over, parroting every word I say, dark, long eyelashes framing the loveliest brown eyes I’ve ever gazed into – is not the squalling helpless infant I brought home, but overall I feel like turning two is the start of something beautiful.

The last six months has been full of wonderful changes for our little family: you lived with your maternal grandparents for a month, we’ve moved across the state and we welcomed your baby sister to our family. I’m pointing this out because all of these changes taught me something about you: you take life in stride. For weeks your world was thrown into a tailspin – your routine completely changed, your surroundings different, and your parents focus was split. Your life was thrown for a loop, and through it all continued to be the sweetest, loving and oh so very polite toddler. Suddenly, you seemed to me to be an example of the person I would like to be: flexible, gracious, and wildly happy.

In addition to the chaos of our lives, these last few months have been a time of incredible growth for you – both physically and developmentally. Not only have you put on nearly five pounds finally reaching a solid 25 pounds and 33 inches, but you now make jokes! You can count to eleven! You sing your ABC’s and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. You can string words together to communicate a point! You tell stories! You still don’t know your colors (save pink and yellow), but  honey, we are working hard on that.

I know I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but watching you grow and learn is such an awesome gift. Every day you make new connections that astound your father and me, and every day we are struck by just how thankful we are to have you in our lives. We love our dinner time conversations, in which you consistently amaze us with something new you learned that day. You, sweet pea, make us incredibly happy, and I hope you always remember that.

There is a lot of talk that parenting is the most difficult job in the world, and I’m slowly realizing this is true. It’s not because it’s hard to keep you fed, clean and safe, nor is it the sleep deprivation, but because if your father and I do it right, one day we have to let you go. You will no longer be the toddler who cries out for mommy when you scrape your knee, or wants her to sing a million renditions of a Bicycle Built for Two.

So, right now I plan to cherish every single second with you; even when you request another round of Row, Row, Row Your Boat at four in the morning.

I love to you more than the moon, the sun, and all the water in the ocean,


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

As I spend my days immersed in the trenches of mothering, I remember worrying about how I was going to possibly divide my heart and time among two little persons. I worried that motherhood might not suit me after all, that maybe these last two years were just a fluke.  And then, we had yesterday. Yesterday was one of those days. You know, the days at which you feel powerless to stop. A day you wished you could just crawl into bed and pretend it never happened.

Photo1 (9)

A day full of tantrums, complete with tears, kicking and screaming. A day where I slapped the dog out of anger at her incessant barking. A day of non-stop nursing, every 60-90 minutes around the clock. A day of missed naptimes. A day of newborn crying, even though she was clean, dry and fed. A day in which a toddler intentionally dumped out her smoothie.

Photo1 (6) 

In the late afternoon, I set everyone in their respective cribs. Under the mobile for Lily, a few books for Daisy, and told them both I needed a time-out. A few minutes of silence, some quiet. I went into the backyard and cried. I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed. I felt like an awful parent, and wondered what I was doing wrong and how I could fix it. I thought, maybe I wasn’t cut out for this. Photo1 (7)

In theory, I know that every parent has those days. I know this, children have bad days, and parents have moments in which they look at their kids and think “you’re driving me crazy",” but somehow, with my two girls, it just doesn’t feel okay. In the end, I called J and we met at Target, mainly so I could buy a broom and some chocolate. (I thought a change of scenery would help, it didn’t, Lily still screamed).

Photo1 (5)

All night, I thought about today. How today would be a new day. We can start completely over, like yesterday was only a bad dream. I will never know how I could have fixed yesterday, or what the right solution was, but at least I now have chocolate. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My little Valentine

Dear Lily,

Yesterday, you turned two weeks old. TWO WHOLE WEEKS. I wonder how was it ever possible that you were not part of our lives until two weeks ago?

photo (11)It amazes me how much you have grown and changed in just 15 days. You went from being a tiny, squished, ruby-colored squalling newborn, to well, okay, you’re still tiny and squished, but now a little more pink, and a little bit larger and a lot louder. We went to your two week check-up last Friday, hoping that you are back to your birth weight, but you surprised the pediatrician by exceeding it by 8 ounces, and growing nearly an inch in length – 8 pounds 15 ounces and 21.75 inches. Clearly, you are thriving on Momma’s milk.

photo My view during our afternoon nursing sessions. Big sister reads or listens to fairytales in French on the iPad and I just watch you.

Every day I think about how much there is to do around the house. Grocery shopping. Laundry. Dishes. Cleaning. But, all I seem to really be able to accomplish is snuggling you, and playing with your big sister. After two weeks, we have finally started settling down into a bit of a routine. Our mornings consist of long leisurely walks, playing at the park, or library storytime. Just like your big sister, you need to go outside everyday. You sleep better, and have a happier disposition if you spend an hour or two in fresh air. Our afternoons consist of washing and folding pint-sized laundry and cloth diapers, cluster feeding, reading, and art projects for big sister.

Photo1 Your sister adores you beyond words. I am looking forward to watching your relationship develop.

While I am looking forward to regaining my 8 hours of consistent sleep, I have to admit that I secretly love the 3am nighttime feeding session. The house quiet. Your room is faintly lit by the florescent light of the bathroom, and for twenty minutes I get to focus only on you. I sit and watch you nurse and memorize every precious ounce of you because I know that you’ll never be this size again. 

photo (8)

Lily, you are winning us all over a little more everyday. You are so unbelievably adored; I hope you always remember this.


We love you to the moon and back,

Momma (and Daddy & Daisy!)