Sam | 9 Months


We’re about to finish out the year 2015 and enter 2016, where you will be turning 1 year old. How did this happen? You’re already 9 months old. You’ve learned how to crawl, walk assisted, babble, speak some sign language, you’ve cut 7 teeth in total and you LOVE music.

All of these things about your personality and your specific preferences are developing — it’s fascinating. I know that “every baby is different” is something I’ve heard forever, but I nievely thought that for the most part, the first year of a baby’s life is pretty much the same across the board. It’s not so with you! You are definitely your own, individual person with likes and dislikes, wants and needs. I LOVE it. I knew being a mom was something special, but wow. Getting to raise two boys with such different personalities is absolutely fascinating to me.

You don’t like:

  • Eggs
  • Plain avocado
  • Anything you can’t feed to yourself
  • Being left alone
  • Not being near your mama
  • When it takes too long between bites of food

You like:

  • Music
  • Exploring
  • Crawling
  • Shaking your head
  • Screeching
  • Screaming
  • Signing “more”

You love:

  • Food – all kinds, any kind. Except eggs
  • Dancing
  • Laughing
  • Peek-a-boo
  • “If you’re happy and you know it”
  • Me (woot!)

*          *         *

This past month we celebrated some of my favorite holidays with our littlest guy. Thanksgiving and Christmas. We always try and spend as much time as possible with as many family members as possible over the holidays. This means a lot of driving for us, but luckily both boys are champs in the car. We pretty much have a “Father of the Bride: Part II” map on which way to take depending on when we leave (does anyone else remember that part of the movie? Or is my type A, OCD organization showing?).

Thanksgiving was spent splitting the holiday between the two sides of our family. Meaning we get to eat two thanksgiving meals! YUM. We started with lunch at my parents house, gathered around a large table with delicious food and great conversation. We ended the evening with another delicious meal, The Peanuts Movie, and a private recital given by Nana and her guitar.


As we geared up for Christmas, everyone and their mother caught the flu! We did everything we could to avoid it and made it through Christmas without catching it… Until the day after Sammy’s 9th month birthday. But, more on that later.

Sam went to Disneyland for the first time, this month! We liked it so much, we decided to get passes. I’m so excited to do, as my parents did, surprise us and say, “We’re going to Disneyland!” on a random day. Even though Sam is about 2 months older than Teddy was when he went, Sam wasn’t overly enthusiastic about Disneyland. He’s so go with the flow that it’s pretty much what he did for the two days we were there. He enjoyed the rides well enough, but I think he’s going to be out little observer — taking things in an not being overly expressive. Don’t get me wrong, this kid radiates joy, but he’s definitely one to think about how he feels before expressing it.


Christmas, each year is SO fun! This year though was extra special. We spent as much of December as we could celebrating Christ’s birth by reading stories from the bible each morning, making Christmas cookies to pass out to the neighbors, sipping hot chocolate, driving to see Christmas lights, and listening to endless Christmas music.

A new tradition we started this year is seeing the LA ZOO lights. It was only $12 for us to go, after hours at the zoo. Over 1/3 of the place is decorated for Christmas with lights, songs, a water show, reindeer, Santa, and more! The boys stayed up pretty late but it was a blast.

Christmas Eve, we have a church tradition — the candlelight service. I led a small group of our kids from Children’s Ministry in a song on stage. Our pastor read a story to the kiddos and we all lit candles and sang Christmas Carols. It’s about a homey as you can get between the carols, kids running around and the homemade cookies everyone brings.


This year, our Children’s Ministry decided to raise funds and take present donations for a family that is living in a near by hotel. At the Thanksgiving lunch the church provides, we found a great family and began to pray about how we could give them a little Christmas cheer. The response was overwhelming. Between kiddos who donated their allowance to parents who purchase gifts, above and beyond what was asked, we were able to give a family gifts for Christmas on Christmas Eve! It was a blessing to be used in such a beautiful way and I know the kids were blessed to be a part of it.


After Christmas Eve service, we always order Toppers Pizza and open presents with Auntie Jonna. She outdid herself this year with a mini drum set for Sam and wearable, color-able T-Rex for Teddy, plus so much more.

Christmas morning was interesting. Sam woke up at 5:00, but Teddy slept in until 6:45. We only had one large gift for each of our boys so, we were anxiously awaiting the time Teddy would wake up and we could open gifts together. I always make my special hot cocoa recipe in the morning and I ALWAYS burn it. This year was NO different. The boys were finally all awake and walked/crawled down the hall to their gifts. Sam had a ride-in car with some stacking cups and Teddy received a balance bike with a helmet and pads. Both boys loved their gifts.


We then, split the day with family! The Lopezes first and then the Thomazins. Opening presents with kids is a riot. These kids are so sweet, hilarious, and radiate joy. We started the day off with brunch and then went straight into presents. Spending time together, watching the kids open gifts and then play with them outside happily has got to be my most favorite part. We all sat around the fire drinking coffee and watching the kids play with their new toys. We rounded out the day with a gift exchange, more delicious food and more hot cocoa. So much laughter, family stories, and recipes were shared.

There’s something about going home for Christmas, isn’t there? You walk in, smell the familiar smells, tasty food, warm voices and every single Christmas of the past comes flooding back. I wish I could bottle up that feeling, or capture it somehow. That way in the dreary, not so warm Christmasy times I could pull it out and inhale.

Here’s to another month and a new year!


Baby Bear Due April Fool’s Day 2015!

We are having another sweet little baby! We can hardly believe it! This Mama Bear could not be any more excited and nervous and anxious and tired. Papa Bear is freaking out and also so excited. Brother Bear has no idea what is about to happen — boy, is his life about to change.

I found out I was pregnant right before I left for the Havasu trip with the Cotsenmoyers. I felt off and was early, but I wanted to know for sure. So, I took and test and it was sooooo positive. I was beaming and I couldn’t wait to tell Alex — except that I was about to tell him, “Hey! I’m pregnant, now I’m leaving for a week and won’t see you. Have fun!” I couldn’t bring myself to tell him right before I left. I decided I would just keep it on the “DL” for a week. No one would suspect right? Right? WHO WAS I KIDDING? Do you KNOW my best friend Amy? I wasn’t even there two days before she cornered me in her bedroom accusing me of being pregnant. I tried so hard to play it cool but I’m such an awful liar. She hugged me and we cried for like two seconds because our children were screaming from the other side of the closed door.  We proceeded to have a great trip and Amy kept my secret very well.

I came home from my trip on Friday and I had wanted to tell Alex that evening on a date. As things do, it didn’t work out so I waited until Saturday. We were supposed to have an inspection on a house that we are interested in and so I thought I would do the whole “bear present” thing again and have the bear with a balloon in the possible nursery of the house. Then, I started second guessing myself. “What if we don’t get the house?” “How am I even going to pull this off anyway without him figuring it out?” “What if the baby doesn’t make it and I made such a huge deal about it?” Clearly, I was overthinking it. So, I started getting a bit overwhelmed by the idea of taking on a huge project house with this little secret growing away in my uterus. I just had to tell him. So, on Sunday morning Alex was making me breakfast in the kitchen, gave me a fresh cup of coffee and as I hugged him I said, “Whatever we decide to buy, it has to have a least three rooms.”

He looked at me with wide eyes and said, “ARE YOU PREGNANT?”


“I need to sit down.”

His whole perspective changed. Suddenly, this thing that we were planning for became and actual reality! So, we’re still on the hunt for a house and praying for the right direction. All we know is, God’s timing is perfect and we are beyond excited.

Little one, we are so excited to watch you continue to grow!

Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Brother Bear

Teddy Takes a Vacation | Part Three

We seriously had the time of our lives on this vacation. It was such a joy to see Teddy take in all the beauty around him and enjoy each beach we went to. He’s such a good boy.

Bali Hai was where we stayed for the first two days, on the Princeville side of the island. It’s just about an hour from the airport and I truly believe it’s the nicest part of the island. The accommodations are great! There is a pool, a fitness center, DVD rental, full kitchen in the units as well as a washer dryer. Eating out during vacation can be fun, but also expensive, so we opted to do some grocery shopping once we moved to Ka ‘Eo Kai, second residence for the week.

Ka ‘Eo Kai is great too. We stayed there a lot while I was growing up so it holds fond memories. The layout is nicer than Bali Hai and there was more room for Teddy to run around, safely. The washer and dryer in the unit made it so much easier on this mama, who has a baby who gets dirty ALL THE TIME. The views here are gorgeous and it’s walking distance to a park and Foodland, where we grocery shopped.

Kauai is easily drive-able in a day, so there are plenty of sights. What’s great about island life though, is there isn’t anything you absolutely MUST do except go to the beach every day.

The Wailua Falls are absolutely beautiful and an easy drive to the top where we looked over and took a few pictures. We did find out that there is a hike down to the falls that we might try out next time.

Kapaa has an 8 mile Bike Path all along the beach which is beautiful and fun. We rented bikes at a shop just at the end of the trail and did the whole thing! There are plenty of places to stop along the way and Teddy even fell asleep at the end of the trail.

On our date day Alex and I rented kayaks from Kayak Kauai and paddled up the Wailua River. If you take the river to the left is a swimming hole with a rock to jump off of and a rope swing. I was too chicken to do it, but we continued on past the swimming hole until we reached a tinny tiny waterfall and turned around. There was a spot that was absolutely still and gorgeous, we even saw cow grazing near the river. We should have worn tons of bug spray though, because we were eaten alive!

The river to the right goes to the falls. We docked our kayak and hiked what was supposed to be a 1/2 mile trail and felt like 2 miles. There was mud everywhere, up to our shins. But it was fun. At the end of the hike is the secret falls. It’s really not so secret because tours go in and out of there every 2 hours or so. We packed a lunch and enjoyed it after a cooling swim in the lake below the huge waterfall. Then, we had to hike back. I fell about 5 times and I’m pretty sure I bruised my tailbone — I was just getting so tired. Then we kayaked back! We had a blast but we were totally sore the day after. PS. Kayaks are actually kind of heavy!

We actually planned our trip home really well. We did all our laundry before so all we had to do was repack our bags and the thought of just having to put our clothes away when we go home instead of having to do piles of laundry was such a relief. We left in time to grab a nice dinner at Duke in Lihue and return our cars. We boarded at 8:30 and asked the stewardess for milk for Teddy. We flew out at 9:30 pm, which is usually right when Teddy crashes. He stayed awake until just after take off and then passed out and he slept the whole way home sprawled out across my mom, Alex and I. We however did not sleep as well as Teddy.

The flight is 5-6 hours and then on the way back we added three hours so we arrived at 6:00 am. We had arranged for Alex’s parents to pick us up from the airport. We grabbed coffee and breakfast at the Starbucks next to baggage claim and they picked us up and took us home. Chris and Amber were here too and their entire family took Teddy to the beach for the day so we could catch up on sleep. IT. WAS. GLORIOUS. Alex and I unpacked, showered and took the longest naps in the history of naps. When we woke up the first thing we did was eat In-N-Out. Such a great welcome home!

Teddy Takes A Vacation | Part Two

We landed! My parents had already been on the island for the week so they met us at the airport and while Alex got the car, my mom and I hung out with Teddy. My parents had told us we could do any excursion we wanted to and they would pay for it, but then they surprised us by getting us a convertible for the week instead! The perfect excursion that keeps on giving. Needles to say, Alex was stoked. When we were planning our trip we had to decide if we were going to bring Teddy’s carseat or not — originally I had decided not to and we found out that Enterprise actually provides carseats as a courtesy.

While we were there, it was great, except that I had to put Teddy front facing because the back of my seat was touching his if we rear-faced him. He LOVED it. I made sure to read up on the laws in Hawaii and read the manual on the specific carseat they provided. He met all the requirements. After arriving home though, I read an insightful blogpost by Alicia regarding carseat safety and we ultimately decided to keep Teddy rear-facing until he’s reached the height and weight limitations of his current seat.

Vacationing with grandparents is AWESOME. The first two days we were there, Teddy slept in my parent’s room so Alex and I could feel free to sleep in. It was so nice to catch up on some sleep, even with the three hour time difference. My parents took Teddy for a whole day so Alex and I could kayak and hike without the little one. Another night they took him for the evening so Alex and I could have a nice dinner! What a treat.

We did our best to help Teddy transition by keeping him up in the morning until his “normal nap time” (10 am) and he adjusted fairly quickly. Teddy is such an easy baby. While we were out, if he was tired he would just fall asleep in the car. However, it only takes about an hour to drive around the entire island so his naps were pretty short. For the most part, he wanted no part of any naps because there was just too much exciting stuff to see!

We went to several beaches on our trip and we also ate at a few great places too!

Kee Beach has a fresh water lagoon that goes right into the ocean. There is a rope swing and fish in the lagoon. The surf was great for body boarding, but the tide was a little rough for Teddy so we stayed mostly in the lagoon and playing in the sand.

Poipu Beach Park has lifeguards, showers, bathrooms, large shady palm trees, covered picnic areas and generally mild surf. It was perfect for Teddy. He spent the day picking up coconuts of the ground and digging in the sand. It was especially nice to be able to hose him off and change him before getting back in the car.

St. Regis Resort Beach is a private beach, but they have free valet and the dining is great. As long as you act like you own the place and are honest with the clerks they are usually pretty cool with people who aren’t staying at the hotel. You can partake of the bar, spa, and rentals if you would like. This is our favorite beach. The beach very gradually goes down into the ocean, with little to no surf, which was perfection for Teddy to feel confident in walking around. There are small patched of reef too where you can snorkel or even walk along to see TONS of fish. The beach has large shady trees and hammocks. It’s very easy to spend the majority of the day here.

Makana Terrace is perfect for a night out. Alex and I enjoy an amazingly slow and beautiful sunset dinner here on our date. Everything is grown locally and nothing is prepared until you order so we just enjoyed the fresh bread with herbed butter while sipping our wine, watching the sunset over Hanalei Bay. The sushi was fantastic! I would have come just for that.

You can also return for brunch the next day! It’s $38 per person, but absolutely fabulous. Teddy just picked off of everyone’s plate and drinks were included. They have a fresh omelet station, fresh local veggies, eggs benedict, parfaits, waffles, pancakes, and gluten free options as well. 

Puka Dog is a MUST on the island. We went to the Hanalei location (this town is one of my favorites). I got a polish dog stuffed in a pretzel bun with garlic sauce and a fruit topping. Sounds bizzare, right? It’s NOT. It will blow your mind.

Al Pastor Tacos is so good. Especially after a long day of kayaking and hiking. We were totally craving some good Mexican food and this place did not disappoint.

Hanalei Coffee Roasters is one of our favorite breakfast spots. The coffee is great and we usually hang out on their porch to escape the occasional rain or walk around shopping.

Lappert’s is some of the best ice cream ever. There is one in walking distance from our resort and that’s usually how we justify getting it — because we walked there.

Dukes is usually our last stop before boarding the plane back to the main land. The views during dinner are unbelievable and the food is so good. They also have a really great salad bar that comes with your meal.

Let’s just be real, you go on vacation to lay on the beach and eat so this was pretty much the best vacation ever.

Teddy Takes a Vacation | Part One

We have been waiting for this vacation for so long. We planned for it, saved for it and longed for it. June arrived and we decided that on top of doing a vacation we would travel to San Diego to go to the Zoo, SLO to visit our dear friend who is moving to Portland, Escondido to visit friends who are moving to Seattle, down to Riverside to drop off Boone for the length of our trip and sell our house, because we’re insane.

I arrived back from our Riverside adventure with an offer on the house, dog less and dog tired. I knew I would still have Wednesday to clean the house, do laundry and pack. On Wednesday evening Alex offered to stay home so I could go out to dinner with some girlfriends, get a pedicure and see a movie — my vacation had started!

We managed to pack two carry-ons each (a backpack, and laptop bag, a duffle, and a suitcase) and pack all our other items in a large bag that we checked. I was pretty impressed with our packing skills. In the backpack I packed: wipes, diapers, baby powder, small toys, a puppet, books, snacks (no raw nuts/seeds or fruits that we couldn’t finish on the flight), an empty baby bottle, gum, our medications in ziplock bags, our boarding passes, identification, and cameras/phones. In the carry-on suitcase we packed our bathing suits and a change of clothes for each of us, just incase our large bag was lost OR we had a blowout/vomit/explosion from any of us or on any of us. We also had a small fold up stroller to push Teddy around the airport and around shopping areas on Kauai — that was a LIFE SAVER. Chasing Teddy around the airport once we let him out of the stroller was insane. This kid doesn’t “walk” anywhere… he runs.

Our dear friend picked us up at 5:45 am to drive us to the airport. We greeted her with Starbucks and breakfast (Love on those that love you friends, 5:45 am is God-awful-early). Our flight was leaving at 9:20 am and we had hoped we timed it perfectly because Teddy usually naps at 10:00 am. We figured, get through security while he’s a happy guy then let him run all his energy out until we’re on the flight. He’ll be super stoked during take off, we’ll give him a bottle at around 20,000 feet and he’ll be out like a light for at least two hours. And guess what, for the most part that was true. Now, some of you may think I’m awful and that’s fine. But, I’m just gonna be real. We gave Teddy a little Benadryl about 20 minutes before take off. He had been (and still is) teething and was quite a hot mess the night before we left, so I figured, for my own sanity and that of the other passengers, I ought to give them a somewhat scream-free flight. It worked wonderfully for us (at least for 2 hours).

Now, before I get to the flight, let me tell you where we went wrong. First, I completely left Teddy’s blankie at home. This is a cardinal sin. Having something familiar during our vacation would have made the sleeping transition and the flight so much easier. Secondly, and for whatever reason, it wasn’t notated on our boarding passes that we were traveling with an infant. We still have no idea how that happened because when we bought out tickets we notated that. So, after we checked in, checked out bags, and made the long trek through the security line we were stopped because Teddy wasn’t accounted for. Then, Alex had to go alllllllll the way back to the front desk where there was ONE attendant to get our boarding passes changed. So, note to self and others — make sure that if you are traveling with an infant (a child under two who doesn’t have their own seat) that it is notated on your boarding pass.

Onward and upward we went! The flight from LAX to Lihue Airport is 5-6 hours depending on the weather. Ours, luckily, was only 5 hours and 9 minutes. Thank you Lord. I could not have handled any more minutes. Teddy was fantastic. The flight attendants were so helpful in getting me milk when I needed it and coming by to smile at Teddy. As I mentioned, he slept for two of the five hours in my arms like an angel. I was able to enjoy a snack, the majority of the in-flight movie and even treated myself to a little in-flight soda. Then… he woke up and he was ready to play! We were able to entertain him with toys, books, pictures and videos on our phone and (GOD BLESS) the “Talking Elmo” app. We also sat next to this sweet 10 year old boy who made faces at Teddy the whole time and made him laugh. Then, when he couldn’t handle sitting anymore, I let him walk up and down the cabin so he could say, “Hi!” to every single person on the plane and touch every isle dwellers leg. And I changed his diaper twice, just so the poor kid could have a change of scenery. FINALLY, it was time to land.

Teddy loved the take off and landing, but he could only be entertained for so long by clouds, clouds and clouds during the flight. He “Ooooed” and “Awwwed” over the blue water, the planes wings, and when we came in for the landing. WE MADE IT!

Dada’s Graduation!

This past Saturday, my Alexander graduated from college! It’s been a long and hard road but he did it! This has been a 10 year process — we were married, got jobs, moved, moved again, took new jobs, moved, moved again, got a new job (again), and had babies all along the way. We lived life to it’s fullest, seeking every opportunity for what was best for our family, which meant holding off on school for a while. But boy, when Alex decides he’s going to do something, he just does it! He knew it meant sacrificing some things, but in the end, I’d say he thinks it was worth it. What an amazing accomplishment.

Family and friends joined us on Saturday at CI to wait in the scorching sun while he entered in and walked proudly across that stage. It was a huge day for Alex. His family was there, his SON was there, and he’s the first in his family to receive his Bachelor’s Degree! Needless to say, they are extremely proud of him. We all are!

Alex, wow. I can’t believe you’ve finished this huge accomplishment. Looking back at all the times we struggled over this past year, through late nights, life changing events in our family, joy, loss, and way too many cups of coffee, I wouldn’t do it again in a million years. Yes, you read that right. Hah! Okay, fine. It was definitely worth it. And we are so unbelievably proud of you and all you’ve accomplished. Thank you for continuing to be an amazing husband, father and provider. I’m looking forward to even more adventures with you!

Congratulations Dada!

Happy 2014!

It’s 2014! A year that we’ve been waiting long to come for the past two years!! This year has so many wonderful adventures in store for us.

I turn 28 this year! Woot!I actually had to check that because honestly, I stopped counting after 25. Just tell me when I get to 30, okay?

We celebrate 6 years of wedding bliss! We’re going away for the weekend while my mom and sister watch Teddy for us. It’s the first time we’ll be away for a LONG time and we’re also going to be a 5 hour car ride away. If you ask me about it, I’ll just tell you that I’m trying not to think about it. It’s going to be fun and I’m excited.

Teddy is turning 1 this year. 1. So crazy. I know.

Alex is graduating from COLLEGE! YES!! Hallelujah. He has worked so stinking hard these past two years to finish his degree and we’re prayed our way through it. We’ve had to compromise so many things, miss out on so many things, and adjust our lives in so many ways. I can’t wait to spend weekends with Alex again, make memories, and take a break from school for a little bit. We’re still in negotiations on that one.

WE’RE GOING TO KAUAI! A family vacation. I seriously can’t wait. Alex and I went to Kauai on our honeymoon so it’s going to be surreal to take our son there. He’ll most likely be walking by then so chasing him around is going to be so fun. I can’t wait to lay on the beach and create new memories!

Finally, Alex turns 28 this year! Yes, I’m older, so what?! Not like he’ll ever let me forget it.

And that’s just half the year! I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us.

Teddy | 7 Months

Teddy, you’re 7 months old today! This coming month you’ll get to experience two of my favorite holidays, Christmas and New Years. Last year I enjoyed them so much because you were in my belly and I was so anxious for this year to come and I could hold you. This year I’m so excited to have you here with us! I’m anxious to see how you respond to opening presents on Christmas day, I hope you like what you’ll be getting.

This month, you finally decided that you really like food. You were always willing to try foods but you weren’t much of an eater, now you’re “mmmmm”ing, smacking your lips and drooling whenever food is in sight. We are always having to move everything away from you at the table because you are so eager to get at it.

You’ve mastered crawling, pulling yourself up onto things, transferring, sort of waving, and saying “dada.” I can’t wait to see what next month hold for you!

*        *         *

Wow! This month Teddy is more mobile than ever. He always is on the go. Grandma said, “Now I know why you’re always tired. This kid is crazy!” Teddy is hardly ever content to just be in your arms anymore. He always wants to be crawling around and getting into things. It keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure!

I mentioned that Teddy has mastered crawling, but what’s funny is that he’s such a hefty little guy that he’s not exactly fluid in his execution. He’s very rigid when he puts one leg, one arm, one leg, on arm to move forward. We joking call him Teddy “The Tank” because he’s so slow moving. That doesn’t stop him from demolishing anything in his path.

This month Boone actually started to be nice to Teddy. Not nice enough for me to capture any of the cuteness, but he’s actually kind of taken to him. It’s very sweet.

Teddy had many fun adventures this month, including going to Knott’s Berry farm! Nana and Papa are allowed discount tickets during the month of November since Papa is a Marine so the entire Lopez clan went down to Knotts and tore it up! I had forgotten how fun Knotts can be with all the western scenes and rides. That could have also been because cousin Ju-Ju LOVES “choo-choos”, “yee-haws”, and “bang-bangs”. It is so fun to experience things with kids.

Teddy loved all the rides he went on, including the balloons. He had to sit on his own across from Alex and he did great! It was so cute. I can’t wait to take him again next year when he’s a little older and can try out some of the bigger kid rides, but I don’t think I’ll ever be prepared for when he wants to go on crazy rollercoasters. I’ll just need to pray my way through that.

Teddy really loves music and not just in a dance to it kind of way. He really appreciates it. He looks in wonder whenever he sees someone playing the piano, cello, or guitar. He LOVES beats to music and gets very excited when people sing. It’s so sweet. This past month I showed him Yo-Yo-Ma playing his cello on Mister Rodgers and he was entranced. If he doesn’t end up doing something with music I’ll be surprised.

Teddy also had his first Thanksgiving this month! I wasn’t always a huge fan of Thanksgiving growing up because I don’t like turkey or ham. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve really come to love it. A friend of mine put into words exactly what it is, “I love this holiday more than any other for approximately two reasons. Number one being that you basically do nothing all day besides sit, talk and eat. There are no presents to be purchased, no nothing you need to do besides be. The second reason is, of course, the community.” I LOVE this. It’s exactly why this holiday is so great. We spent the first half of the day with the Thomazins and the second half of the day with the Lopezes. Then we decided to make a weekend of it and see the Cotsenmoyers for Auntie Am’s birthday. Teddy, Ten and Cam love hanging out, when they aren’t fighting over toys, stealing binkies, and scratching each other.

We also were able to finishing unpacking and decorate our house for Christmas! Hooray. I LOVE Christmas and the decorations that come with it. I wish we could leave them up all year; mostly the christmas lights. The glow the give is so cozy and warm.

So, here’s the Holiday season, to you and yours! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

A Weekend Away

This past weekend was the first time I’ve ever left Teddy over night. In the days leading up to it, people would ask, “How are you doing?” “Are you nervous?” And I would just say, “I’m trying not to think about it.”

Honestly, I felt if I dedicated any of my brain to thinking about leaving my baby over night and how he would cry without me and probably not be able to function I would either a) crawl into a ball and cry my eyes out and never leave his side or b) discover that the opposite was true and then do a).

I just decided to take it one step at a time.  I knew I was leaving him in eager grandparent hands who would probably pay him more attention then I ever do, so that helped make things easier.  And, I was only going to be 45 minutes away in Palm Springs.

After the drive down on Friday night my parents offered to let Teddy sleep in their room and they would bring him to me so he could get use to sleeping there and so I could get a good night’s sleep. It worked wonderfully.

I left early Saturday morning for the Bachelorette Brunch for Jeannemarie at the Mission Inn which was so lovely and tasty.  Then, since we couldn’t check into the timeshare until 4:00, Julie Ann and I went back to the house to see Teddy. Yes, I was already missing him and it had only been 4 hours. I got one last feeding in and we took off!

I picked up JM and we made the trip down to Palm Springs. We stopped by Julie Ann’s apartment and then hit up Ralphs for drinks, dinner, snacks, and trashy magazines. Some of JM’s friends that I invited came out too and we enjoyed an evening of girly drinks, crosswords, silly games, friends re-runs and pizza.  Then we soaked our feet in the spa and passed out on the couch around mid-night.

I only woke up twice in the night thinking that I had to feed Teddy or that he rolled out of his bed or something and I just prayed that he was being good. I got a few pictures and video from the grandparents which helped soothe the sting of missing him.

On Sunday we relaxed in the lazy river and ate out at Ruby’s. I think it helped that we were busy chatting away all day so I didn’t have to think about Teddy every two seconds and realize that he wasn’t with me.

Around 4 we left to head home and I couldn’t wait to smoother my little guy with kisses. I got to my parent’s house and there he was, totally fine and still alive!

He had such a wonderful weekend being entertained by Grandma and Grandpa and alllllll the people at their church. They even went over to Grammy and Pa’s house for lunch afterward. It made me so happy to know that he got to help create such fun and sweet memories with them and it all at once broke and filled my heart.

Sometimes it’s so hard to be away from family, especially as Teddy is growing so fast, but I know the Lord has us here for a reason and we are fully expecting and continuing to receive His blessings.

So, I survived! Goooo Teddy and Gooooo Mommy!!

Our First Family Vacation

We finally had our first little family vacation over the Labor Day weekend.  Earlier last month we found out that Alex didn’t have class on Saturday or Friday (a very rare occasion), so we decided to turn a three day weekend into a 4 day adventure!

We packed up the car on Wednesday and headed out right after Alex got out of work on Thursday.

We visited my parents and stayed the night there to break up all the driving. Then Friday morning we had breakfast with Grandpa and met Grandma for lunch at her school.  All the fourth graders were “oohing” and “ahhhing” over Teddy.  One girl even said (as Teddy was yawning), “Man, it’s hard to be so adorable. He needs a nap!” And he did.  He fell asleep right there in the midst of all the craziness.

After that we began the trek to San Diego for a fun filled weekend.  We stopped at Seaport Village to walk around and eat ice cream. YUM! It was a million degrees out though so we decided to check into our hotel and make a plan.

The Cotsenmoyer Clan joined us later that evening and we planned out the weekend.  Sea World on Saturday, then Hotel del Coronado on Sunday and the beach!

We woke up early on Saturday because Teddy boy doesn’t sleep past 6:30 am. Amy thought there was a cat outside their hotel room and Trav said, “No, that’s just Teddy.”  Mr. Smiley needs to learn that not EVERYONE loves to be all “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” at the booty-crack of dawn. Anywho, Tenley and Camden came over to our room (meaning they busted in through the door between our rooms and hung out with us while we all got ready for the day. Tenley is so sweet with Teddy. She loves to hold and hug him — I seriously die every time.  If they do end up getting married we have some seriously awesome wedding slideshow material.

Sea World with a three month old is a total blast and one he’ll obviously remember for his whole life. Juuuuust kidding.

The trip was really more us adults remembering our childhood trips to Sea World and watching Tenley freak out over all the cool animals. Still, it was fun!

Teddy was a champ. He napped whenever he was tired and practically lived in the carrier. Go me and Daddy for caring him around everywhere.  Amy and I even ducked into a few dark exhibits to nurse our kids and get them to sleep — because we’re pros like that.

We caught almost every show and hit every exhibit. Then we went back to our hotel ate pizza, jumped on the beds with Tenley and went to sleep.

Sunday was more relaxed. We slept in a bit (Teddy slept the entire night, which Auntie Am credits to herself for her awesome skills at putting children to bed). We grabbed a buffet breakfast at our hotel and then packed up the car for the beach. We drove over to Hotel del Coronado and grabbed parking spots a million miles away and apart from each other. Then we enjoyed some chips and a half a glass of moscato (ahhh, crisp and refreshing).

Then we took our rag-tag group and all our ish down to the beach. Amy pushed her crazy mess allll the way down to the shore with her double bob. She’s a beast! We parked it and set up the umbrella. Tenley ran into the waves with Trav while Teddy and Camden slept. Then once he was awake we took the Bubs out into the water. It was freezing and he wasn’t a huge fan, but as always he’s up for anything and he was a trooper. I honestly can’t imagine how my Mom would just let us drift out into the water and play in the waves. It’s totally scary. I may just keep Teddy chained to me until he graduates high school so he can’t ever get hurt. Okay, fine… I won’t. I’ll only do it until junior high.

Anywho, we all parted ways and then drove back to Riverside to spend the rest of our weekend with the Lopez family. But first, I got to have a little break with my best. Amy called me up on Monday morning and told me to meet her at the nail place. We grabbed Starbucks and had a wonderful pedicure — kid free. I miss that girl like CRAZY!

Then, it was off to Nana and Papa’s. It’s always such a sweet time when we can get the grandkids together. I really do cherish it. We always have a blast. It breaks my heart and makes it full every time we see them. Julian LOVES his little Tito and always wants to hold him. Emmy is just the sweetest little thing and I want to squish her all day.

I can’t wait to see how the Lord continues to grow our family on both the Lopez and Thomazin sides and who knows… maybe one day the Cotsenmoyers and Lopezes will join forces?