Bits and pieces

Luke told me he dreamt of frogs a few nights ago. I guess there’s not much more to say about it except I thought it was cute. And amazing that he’s beginning to remember his dreams, or at least describe them to us 🙂 Also, his three favorite animals to sleep with are a Swiss cow, a turtle from the Target dollar section a few years ago and a big Batman. They are all named Austin or Eddie depending on the day (two of his favorite young adults lol). Continue reading

Navigating the needs

We had so much fun at the aquarium last week. We’re so spoiled and have an amazing one locally that’s incredible for the kids–and any chance for a 45 minute trip, drive through espresso en route and quiet time (forced naps) along the way is good with me! The kids were super excited (dare I say PUMPED) about the penguins, sharks and the “fishies” (Kate especially..). I personally love the jellies, I could spend my entire time in that exhibit! And the sea turtle! Oh!–he’s lovely.

I’ve noticed that the kids have been a bit needier as of late. I think our initial weeks with Emma were pretty seamless, Continue reading

THIRTY.

Good morning to THIRTY! Writing it makes me feel young and old at the same time–thirty! I have many friends already embracing their best decade (or so I hear) and have been a little impatient for this birthday but on the other hand, have sort of enjoyed remembering I’m not there yet (ok well only when I’m teasing my husband!). This feels like such a milestone! I’ve forgotten how to treat those.. as a kid, they happen all the time. Double digits, off the kids menu, permit age, sweet sixteen, legal status, legal drinking age, quarter of a century, which, is that a big deal?–I didn’t make it one so that makes for a total of nine years of silence!

Continue reading

Emma at two months


Two months with this little girl have been pretty sweet. She is relatively easy going and has the sweetest smiles. We felt like she audibly said ‘hi’ to us the other day but that could possibly have just been a pretty cute coo. Her blowouts have regulated a bit and what’s left of my wardrobe thanks her, Shout and Oxiclean can only do so much.. She loves hearing all of our voices and apart from a stuffy nose, doesn’t fuss too much! A little more hair is beginning to grow in and I’m curious what color she’ll keep and her eyes are still blue for now 🙂 Kate has taken upon herself to show her off at every possible interaction. This girl is well loved!

Newborn sleep survival tips

10 tips for conquering newborn sleep!—mrscaseyann

We are now three deep in this babies and sleep thing. And now with Emma here, it’s kind of NUTS to remember how much stress I was under in the beginning! Managing my personal stress having to do with my child sleeping was like a full time job, with a ton of overtime. I have not figured anything out necessarily but I wanted to take down a few things that have helped me relax through it all.

I remember those initial days and nights with Luke, so anxious and unsure of how to handle his wake ups, and shuddering at the idea of nursing him again (it was really painful first time around). Long story short, we figured out nursing and found our groove. After his newborn days had passed Continue reading

Rodoni farms


Last weekend we drove up the coast to find pumpkins! We ended up getting there at a quiet moment and it was so nice not to battle the crowds. The morning had been a little past my crazy threshold so we were needing an outing so when James text me he would leave a hair early, we packed up and got ready..

We’ve loved this patch over the years, the kids ran free, Luke pushed the wagon around, feeling very accomplished. The patch is on a big hillside overlooking the ocean so we had a couple small rogue pumpkins we saved that had gotten haphazardly tossed back to their piles—they gain some serious speed down that hillside! 

The most genius thing they have is a large industrial plastic tube that’s been turned into a slide. We spent the better part of our time there as you can see. We also squished our faces in the wood pumpkin cutout, climbed the hill of hay, and picked out our special pumpkins that we’ll probably end up painting. 

Afterwards we also went to our ever favorite berry farm, where I watched the kids roam around with James as I nursed Emma in the car. We all smacked on a strawberry chocolate truffle and an ollalaberrie cobbler. We found ourselves in traffic on our way home with an epic cry fest performance from Emma that the kids woefully and resiliently endured; her cry is still little but when she wants you to know she’s upset, she is quite good at communicating it 😉

After we tucked the kids in bed, James made us a huge bowl of popcorn and we watched the movie SING—which is so cute and another way too heartfelt animated film that you ugly cry to at the end. Loved this day!

Luke at three and a half

Nobody told me that three and a half would be the sweetest time ever, most days at least 😉 it truly is! 

Luke amazes me day by day. He has the biggest love for his sisters, he is a rock. He has great patience for them and a genuine love that isn’t feigned, it’s overflowing from him. Every day I discover how much he takes in—he is so smart, so aware, so thoughtful towards people. He has a great sense of humor and is an incredible imitator. He remembers what you say SO well.. too well ha! 

He loves preschool, he really thrives there. When I pick him up and talk through the day with him, there is so much to say. He picks up on every detail. And the lesson material is locked in the vault of his memory! He has the Bible stories on lockdown and loves to cut with kid scissors and tracing. I am so happy he’s loving this experience so far!

He has also just begun to really enjoy engaging his imagination. He loves to play with race cars and imitate his favorite shows (Blaze, Paw Patrol to name a couple). He also loves to get on his bike and pretend to be the gardener, asking me what area of the yard I need taken care of and then vrooooming his blower all around, as loud and spitty as he can 😉

He still gives the best snuggles and I feel as if it’s getting better as he gets bigger. So much tenderness. Before, the boy couldn’t sit still if his life depended on it, so snuggling was nearly impossible. Now that he’s older, he loves to snuggle at night with me. I look forward to it every day. At bedtime, all is right if he can have snuggles, books and talking to God time..

He loves to eat all his fruits and veggies still, and has an on and off relationship with Mexican food and marinara sauce. He’s always up for strawberries, any baked coffee shop treat, açaí bowls, toast, yogurt and any special drink (almond milk, juice, tea with me..). He is very food motivated but I try to keep it as a once and a whole motivator. 

Gosh I love this boy. Love you to the moon and stars and planets Luke (as we always say!).

Our birth story–Emma Genevieve

Sort of looks like she’s throwing up a peace sign ✌️
Oh this little lady. She gave me a doozy of a pregnancy but I could not ask for a more wonderful birth. I was praying that things would be smooth. We’d had a VBAC with Kate, so as the days rolled closer to my due date, I was nervous I would go late (a large part of why my first birth going towards emergency c-section). We met with our doula Corrie in the weeks leading up to birth and went over natural induction possibilities if it went to that. She reminded us of our last birth (including things I couldn’t even remember!) and helped us prepare for this one. And my heart was set on fire a bit with excitement, anxiousness too, but mainly this huge desire to meet our little girl!

So as the days rolled by and I was coming close to our due date (September 4, Labor Day). I was figuring out ways to relax and give my body high levels of oxytocin, especially at night since I knew my body liked to go into labor at night (which is super common I guess!)—so lots of cuddles with the kids, James, shows that made me laugh or cry, long evening showers.. Two days before my due date, on Saturday, I woke up to consistent contractions, not super painful, but consistent. It was supposed to be the hottest day of summer so I was not looking forward to laboring like this. Around noon the contractions stopped. It went on to be the hottest day ever. Even at 8 in the evening, I was dripping sweat down the back of my neck.. EW. My theory is Emma knew she did not want to labor with me in this unpleasant state! I didn’t have any more contractions that day or the next morning/afternoon.

Then around 10:30pm on Sunday evening, they came.. these were the contractions I knew. Strong, consistent, oof.. the real thing. I started timing around 10:30pm on the dot and as soon as they came, I started making sure my bags were ready. They came every 3-5 minutes and they were progressively getting more intense. Over the next hour, each contraction felt like it was doubling on itself in intensity—this was happening fast! James had been ready at every ache or pain for the last two weeks, so I told him that this time I think we’re working on the real thing so he started getting his ducks in a row too.

I took a long shower right away and was instantly way relaxed. I was taking on each contraction in the bathroom because it just felt like the right spot. Since the kids were sleeping, I had a beach towel that I’d grabbed to stick my face into if I needed to be loud (and I did..). By 11:30pm, I knew that we’d need to go soon. It had only been ONE HOUR. But I knew that I didn’t want to endure these contractions in the car.. just no. By midnight, we were in the car and driving away. We called the birthing center slash hospital on the way and thankfully they had rooms available. We arrived and as quickly as we could, got upstairs and checked in.

The nurse checked me and I was 4 cm dilated but could be (sorry for this) stretched to a 5 (that totally grossed me out the first time I heard it and it’s my body ha). She continued to admit me and I was pressing through as much as I could with these INTENSE contractions. She also let me know she was going to be off soon so she wouldn’t be with me through this whole thing and she’d introduce me to the next nurse (not so fast my friend). I had my towel still (lol) and was being pret-ty loud, but man, they were weighty. Corrie was there pretty soon after we’d arrived so she and James had already began to help me make it through each contraction.

Meanwhile I was getting an IV in my arm (to my dismay.. former c-section protocol) and my stubborn veins caused me to get pricked SIX times before they got me set up. I’d went potty (pee) at some point and later, Corrie let me know she had thought my water had broken when I did that. Not long after, the doctor had popped in and as she was leaving, she’d asked if I’d said I needed to push or go number two and in that same breath, I was asking if I could go to the bathroom. In the next moment, I had the most intense urge to PUSH. So much so that I think they were worried this baby was going to splash out at my feet! Or at least I was! All I could think about was meeting our little girl! Once the doctor heard this and my urge to use the restroom, she got the nurses moving and everyone got into “let’s do this!” mode.

Mind you, it was probably around 1:20am, we’d only arrive fifty minutes earlier!! I’d uncomfortably gotten on the bed so she could check me and she said it’s a good time to push. My body didn’t feel like it wanted to quite as much once I was in the bed but the urge was still strong enough so with about 5 pushes (I believe..), I gave my all and WHOOSH, Emma made her debut! I forgot how incredible the body feels instantly!! We were in heaven. All I could say was “you’re really here!!”. I had forgotten the sweetness of that initial cry and the elation of seeing that precious tiny squished up face.

I still cannot believe how quickly everything had happened. My nurse (who was supposed to leave!) hadn’t even had the chance to admit me so as I’m holding my new baby, I was answering questions about if we have a cat in the house (lol). Our first few days were so sweet, and Emma has joined our family soooo well. Our kids have so much love for her. Kate cheers whenever she wakes up from a nap and Luke has these silent loving moments with her where he wants to hold her and just look at her. We’re all so in love.. I couldn’t ask for more. Love you little Emma!!

Oh yeah and in case that sounds too pristine, there’s a lot of spit up, poop and leaking boobies. Woop woop!

Kate at 21 months

This darling girl. I have been so terrible at my note taking for these kiddos lately so I’m giving it a good ‘ol college try.. thus, the randomness of the “21 month update” ha. But there’s so much I can say about our sweet, tender, firecracker-y, gorgeous girl. Who is consistent in her ability to make us all laugh. Kate is our little burst of love. Here’s what we’re discovering about her at 21 months 🙂

She is a season of needing a good deal of snuggles, and I’m soaking it up!

More and more words are coming.. her brother talks pretty much all the time (read: without creasing, people!) so I know the amount of language she understands is pretty large, but she’s beginning to be able to communicate her thoughts more and more.

Loves water bottles, water, spilling water and “splashing” and spitting it all over herself, ha. She does not mind being wet!

She loves Emma, truly madly deeply. She loves to squish her nose and hold her and kiss her forehead, head, tummy and back. She is so sweet and explodes with a smile every time Emma wakes up or is around. Such a sweet care-taking-big-sister heart.

I thought she was calling her sister “baby Kate” until the other night, when I realized she says “baby cry” when Emma is unhappy! She also says little things like “it’s ok” to her when she’s upset and makes her voice another octave higher than it already is which is precious.

She loves a show called Blaze and the Monster Machines and has been known to break down we say no, weeping “blazeee” rather uncontrollably. It can drive me a little nuts but I try and remember that it’s pretty hilarious big picture 🙂

She enjoys the thrill of storytelling.. books, people watching, as I mentioned–tv shows, listening to someone’s story. Movie days and book clubs commence!

Loves brushing teeth and washing hands multiple times a day. Loves minty toothpaste. A lot.

We love our baby girl!—who is still, very much, our baby 🙂