Sam | 5 Months

Sammy, you’re 5 months old now. And I’m getting better at making your posts timely — only a week late this time. Sheesh.

You are almost half way through your first year of life! This past month was so much fun and you know what they say about time when you’re having fun. It’s flies! And boy, has it. You continue to be the easiest baby. I thought your brother was an easy baby but you take the cake. You continue to have an extremely flexible schedule but don’t mind rigidity. You love trying to figure things out and are very into touching things lately. It’s absolutely amazing to see you feeling things out and working them over with your chubby, dimpled hands. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for those precious hands.

I’m going to call it: You are not a fan of the beach. You just don’t really like water in general. Sitting in the sand, sure. Sitting on a boat in the water, sure. But actually swimming in, playing in, touching the water… No. You don’t make a fuss usually but it’s obvious it’s not your favorite. I like seeing things like this pop up. It reminds me that you’re a different person than your brother and that you’re developing your own tastes and interests. Again, it amazes me to see you grow more and more into your unique self. I’m so excited to see the man you will become over the years.

This month was one giant adventure. We traveled to Oceanside, took family photos (you were a champ), went to Havasu with our best friends The Cotsenmoyers, and you went to your first birthday party. You also took your first bath with your brother — cuteness abounds.

You continue to be great car companion. You only cry when you crave attention or are hungry. I know, I know… So many people are incredibly jealous of me right now and they should be! You are the baby everyone prays for. And hey, even when you’re crabby, you’re the baby I prayed for. I love you all the time and you make me proud all the time.

This next month we try our hand at camping. It’s going to be another crazy adventure because you can roll over at a moments notice and you’ve just started “Ricky-rocking” on all fours. I’m feeling like this month might be the crawling month. And then, boy are we in for it! A mobile baby changes everything.

I’m in awe, constantly, at how much you grow and change and inspire me. I’m a better mom because of you and your brother. You both test my patience and I fail constantly. I might say something too harshly, don’t explain a punishment well enough, or just feel blue and you both constantly forgive me and love me still. I hope you know I love you too… all the time.

Here’s to the next month!

I love you,

Sam | 4 Months Old


I’m sorry you’ve fallen prey to the “second sibling syndrome”. I am seriously lagging on your monthly posts these days. But, that is in no way a reflection of how much love I have for you or how amazing you are! Believe me, kid. You’re a champ.

This month you had a HUGE adventure. You went with Mama to VBS. The last three days of that week you joined me on this crazy adventure. I strapped you on and you went with me everywhere. Running around, registering kids, doing dance moves, making announcements, set up and tear down. I wore you all day and you were a champ.

You’re definitely mama’s right hand (or right hip) man these days. You always want me to be wearing you or holding you. You love to sleep in our bed, even for your naps. In fact, you prefer it at all times. I put you down for your naps in your bassinet and all you do is squirm around in there, but if I put you on our bed you’re out like a light in seconds.

Some firsts you experienced this month:

  1. Rolling Over
  2. Pedicures with Nana
  3. Movie Night with Mama
  4. Fourth of July
  5. Big Belly Laugh

I’m not sure how big you are, or what percentile you’re in, but you have chunked up quite a bit! That may have contributed to you having to work on rolling over for so long. You have quite the head! You could roll over every part of your body, but getting your head over was the biggest challenge for you. NOW, you are a rolling machine! And you can hold your head up for the LONGEST time. You LOVE tummy time and playing on your mat.

You are seriously the smiliest. You hardly ever cry. If you do it’s because you’re hungry and that’s it. You don’t even cry when you’re wet or dirty, unless I somehow totally missed it. You smile right when you get up and you’re never mad at me for waking you up. You’re always up for anything — seriously. You’re carted around everywhere and taken from place to place, carseat to stroller to carrier and back.

You’re quite the “talker” now too. You love to screech and laugh and you LOVE hearing your own voice. You’re a loud one, that’s for sure. Many times I’ve gone in to check on you during your nap and you’re just talking away to yourself in your crib. It’s adorable and I love it.

You have no qualms with taking a bottle and you can even hold it yourself now. It makes it much easier for Mom to get a night out every once in a while, so THANK YOU! You even let your brother give you a bottle, when he feels like it. Speaking of your brother, you are just over the moon for him. You love to stare at him, smile at him and hold his hand in the car while I drive. His voice alone will calm you down from a screaming fit and it just absolutely warms my heart. I can’t wait until you boys are older and are playing together. It’s going to be so awesome to watch!

I love you. So much,

Recipe | Crustless Quiche

It’s been a year since I posted a recipe, and the last one was inspired by my Grandmother’s Banana Bread. This recipe is ALSO an inspiration of one of my Grandmother’s recipes as well. Her’s is called a “Chili Cheese Puff” and it’s unbelievably tasty. I would ask for that and her “Potato Casserole” for my birthday — instead of cake.

This recipe is a more flexible version of her “Chili Cheese Puff” and has less cheese and no chilis.

My favorite part about this recipe is (well, two things): 1) Your toddler can help you make this and 2) you can make it at the beginning of the week and eat a slice a day! An easy and fast breakfast that my kid loves.

Serves: 12
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins

What You’ll Need:
1 dozen large eggs
1 16oz container of cottage cheese
1/4 cup of four (optional)
A 9×13 pan or 2 cake pans
A large bowl

4 strips of cooked bacon
3 handfuls of spinach
1 roasted tomato
1 red/orange/green bell pepper
1/2 chopped onion

What I love about this recipe is that the base stays the same, but you can make it your own by adding pretty much any vegetable you have on hand. Green beans? Sure. Want more cheese? Throw it on top.

What You’ll Do:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 9×13 baking pan or 2 round cake pans.

Take up the large bowl.

Crack and whisk in the entire dozen eggs. Sprinkle in salt and pepper.

Dump entire contents of cottage cheese container. Stir.

Whisk in flour (optional).

Add in your desired veggies, one at a time and stir them all together.
This is where having your toddler helps is great! In fact, studies have shown that kids who help prepare their meals are more likely to eat them AND more likely to try new things.

Once everything is mixed, pour the mixture into your desired baking dish.
The two cake pans will cook easily in 45 minutes. The larger baking sheet may take closer to an hour. 

Place your baking dish in the oven and set your timer for 45 minutes! When a knife can be inserted into the middle of quiche and come out relatively clean, it’s done!


Sam | 3 Months Old


You are growing up so fast! This past month was a whirlwind and you’ve added some much more to your repitore. You can now roll over (well, you did it once but no one was looking) and you smile constantly. You also love the sound of your voice and have become quite the screecher. You and your brother often feed off of eachother’s screeches and it makes for some interesting afternoons around here.

Speaking of your brother, you absolutely adore him. You smile at him all the time and giggle when he comes near you. It’s the sweetest thing. He’s finally warming up to you more and is always very concerned as to where you are and making sure you’re not crying.

This month you had your first trip to the beach and your first swim, although not at the same time. Our beach trip was for the “walk to the beach” at church. Some church friends hiked 8 miles to the beach, but we didn’t. We arrived at the beach early to hang out and help make hotdogs as everyone arrived. It was a chilly day but you had plenty of people to hold you.

You swam for the first time this month at a friends house after church. It was really warm out but the pool was pretty cold and you did not like it. You cried at first, but then held onto me and within minutes of floating in the water you were asleep. It was heaven for me just to wade and hold you close. I so cherish those precious moments.

On Saturday, Dad and I were cleaning the house and needed to vacuum our room but you were about to go down so he suggested I lay you in your crib. I wasn’t quite ready for that step and I kind of wanted a little pomp and circumstance to mark this occasion, but convenience won over and I caved. I laid you down for your nap in your room. In your crib. And I walked out. You looked so much smaller in there than your bassinet.

So, the next day I moved you back into the bassinet. I decided you don’t need to grow up that much quite yet.

Sam, you are actual sunshine on my cloudy days. I can never be sad or mad when I hold you. You continue to be the easiest baby ever and oh, so sweet.

I can’t wait to see how you grow in this coming month and watch your personality develop even more.

I love you,


A Mother’s Devotional

“Are you there God? It’s me, the Mother.”

Anyone else feel like this sometimes? Like, oh yeah, God — He and I were like super close once. Now I barely get time to even talk to Him. For example, this blogpost? This event I’m about to write down. It happened 5 days ago, and I’m just sitting down to write it.

Hold on. Someone pooped their pants.

So, as I was saying.

Oh…. hang on. The baby’s awake.

::Two Days Later::

As I was saying… That God guy.

These days, it’s difficult to have my quiet time. One kid gets up at 5:45 am and one goes to bed at 11 pm and in between there, I’m running a household and working part time. As a result, many times over the past three months I’ve wondered, “God, are you still there?” “Am I still beloved to you?” “Do you get me? Where I am right now? Do you know how much I’d like to hear from you?”

And so, the days go on. Elmo watching, cooking, cleaning (bottoms and counters and couches and toys and such), playing, and reading.

On this particular day, I was sitting with Teddy reading one of his favorite books, “I Love You, Through and Through.” Seriously we’ve read this book 50 times, just today.

In this book, each page has approximately 4 words:
“I love you through and through […] I love your inside and your outside […] Your happy side and your sad side.” And so on.

As I’m reading it for the 4th time, the other day, a page stuck out to me. “I love your happy side and your sad side. Your silly side and your mad side.”

“Your mad side?”

Isn’t it true though? It’s hard, don’t get me wrong; but I still LOVE my kids (yes, even my irrational toddler) when they are mad.

And right then, God said, “Yes. I even love your mad side.”

“Me? You love me when I’m mad? I don’t even get mad over justified things God. How could you love my mad side?”

“I love your mad side. I love you through and through.”

If that doesn’t hit you like a ton of bricks, then… well, I don’t know. But it spoke to me.

God loves me through and through. He meets me where I am. In my busyness. In my never-get-to-sit-still-ness. God’s there. He sees. He hears. He knows. And He loves.

I don’t know about you, but I’m called to listen and pray without ceasing. It’s not something I have to think about or plan out. God doesn’t need my 15 minutes of time with Him each day. My God isn’t limited to that. My God and I are in constant communion. He’s right there, next to me while I play with my kids. While I’m scolding my kids. While I’m doing the dishes. While I’m having a dance party. While I’m gorging on dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt.

My God doesn’t live in a box. He lives in books, in the sky, in my heart.

So, take heart mama. God’s there. He knows. He sees. He hears. He loves you through and through.

Sam | 2 Months Old


I feel like I just finished writing your 1 month post and I’m already writing your 2 month post! This past month flew by, mostly because we were all so sick. You caught your first cold and it was so sad. You had a hard time nursing and sleeping which made you cranky. Your brother Teddy was sick and I was sick too! It was a rough couple of weeks to say the least.

You had your first round of shots this month too. You are really strong and the nurse had to hold you down in order to get the shots into your legs — but you sucked it up and barely even cried.

You had a special visitor this past month, Alex (we call her Andie). Andie moved up to Portland a year ago and you hadn’t been able to meet her yet! She loves you very much and enjoyed cuddling you while she was here.

You celebrated your brother’s, your cousin’s, and your auntie’s birthdays this month! We drove down to Riverside to first, surprise your grandma who received The Teacher of the Year Award for her school! She was VERY surprised to see us and it was an honor to watch her receive a much deserved award. We also visited the Cotsenmoyers and then went to Grandma’s classroom so all her students could meet you! They all loved it.

This month you had your first trip to the zoo! You were, as always, a champ. You’re very “go with the flow” and are always up for everything. It makes it very easy to take you places and even though you didn’t quite know what was going on, you seemed to enjoy yourself. We did a photobooth photo and you barfed — it was hilarious and I’m so glad we caught it on film.

On mother’s day your Dad made me cards from each of you boys. He traced your precious hand prints and made coupons from you in handmade cards. I LOVE THEM. That weekend we also went to the train museum at Griffith Park. You packed a picnic lunch and hung out in the park all day. You took a nap and hung out with mama while Teddy and Dad rode the train.

You are SO smiley! You love the sound of your Dada, Mama, and brother’s voices. When we laugh you giggle and when we smile at you, you smile back. You follow our voices by turning your head, too! You are strong and push your legs up like crazy. You can hold your head up too — which is great because you love to nap on your tummy and it make mama feel better about it knowing you can lift your head.

Sam, you’re growing up fast but I’m loving every minute of it. I can’t wait to see all the things you’re going to do this next month.

We love you,
Mama and Dada

And one of you and your brother being silly.

Teddy | 2 Years Old

Teddy Bear,

You are two years old! Sometimes I look at you and seriously think, “there’s no way this kid isn’t two yet. Isn’t he three already?” You are the smartest, funniest, mood-swingingest, kid I know. You talk in complete sentences now. You know your alphabet and can count to 20 (well, 15). You can even recognize letters and numbers in your world, like the “W” of Wienerschnitzel or the “7” at 7/11.

Here is a list of your current favorite things.

Color: Yellow
Animal: Ducks, but you call them “Quack Quacks”
Phrases: “I dot chu mama!” as you chase me around the house trying to catch me, “Oh Shore” (oh, sure), “Dah doo” (Thank you),  “Ya wekcom” (You’re welcome), and “Yet’s doh!” (Let’s go).
Food: French fries or ice cream. Yes, I’m aware they aren’t the best for you — so we limit them.
Person: Your Dad, for sure.
Activity: Helping in any way you can. You love doing dishes and cooking food.
Letters: “T”, “Y”, “W” and “O”. You think that you spell your name “T” “Y” “T” “Y”.
Numbers: “2” and “9”. For the majority of year 1, you would count by saying, “2,9,2,9.” Now you can count up to 15!
Songs: “Everything is Honey” from Winnie the Pooh and “Mister Sandman” by the Chordettes.

You are constantly surprising us with things you say like…

“Eh Moon, where he go?”  — “Where’s the Moon?”
“Cookies in da ie ceam?” — “Can I have cookie dough ice cream?”
“I dotchu” — “I got you!”
“Ah-mane up in da ky” — “Airplane up in the sky.”
“Eh so coo” — “That’s so cool.”
“Oh, ee you go, mama.” — “Oh, here you go, mama.”
“Dah Doo, _______” — “Thank you, _______”.
“Ya wekcome” — “You’re welcome.”

And so much more specific these days like…

“Mama, I ba hab ice en neen bow?” — “Mama, can I have ice (yes, just ice) in the green bowl?”

You are a riot, kid.

You run everywhere there days, but you’re also a very good listener and direction follower. We compliment each other well because I love turning everything into a lesson and you love learning.  You want to understand how things work, ALL THE TIME. You are always tearing a part things and asking questions. We’re still working on the part where you put things back together after you break them, but for now you mostly get frustrated and cry.

We’ve hit the “terrible twos” like you wouldn’t believe, lately. You’ve also been sick a lot lately too. You’ve had respiratory infections almost every three months this past year and the doctor has pretty much told us that you have asthma (just like your Dad did when he was little).

Some of the things you got to do this past year were…

Travel to Hawaii, Havasu, Big Trees, Seattle, Portland and the Grand Canyon.

Get your first haircut!

Move into a NEW HOUSE.

Become a big brother.

Have your first ride in Papa’s Car. It’s very special to us.

Go to Chuck E Cheese

Get a BIG BOY bed.

You continue to love…

The beach.

The park.

Your backpack.



Your cousins.

Underwood Farms — especially the chickens.

“Happy Birthday” and “The ABC’s”.

Generally kiddo, you just love life and you LOVE learning. We are so amazed at how you’ve grown, adapted, and your capacity to love. You’re not overly affectionate but you do love hugs a certain times and you’ve been asking me to “hold you mama” since your brother was born.

Teddy, we are so excited for this next year of life with you — and all those beyond. May you be blessed on this day and every day. May we show you God’s love and ours each day and may you continue to grow into the amazing person God has made you to be.

We love you,
Mom and Dad

Sam | 1 Month Old


You’re 1 month old! It’s been a whirlwind of a month. It’s true that the days go by slowly while the weeks pass quickly. Each day we’re learning more and more about each other and you’re growing in strides each day!

You’ve had so many visitors this past month and you even had your first trip to Riverside. We’ve been blessed to have help from family members every week day since you were born. Everyone wants to spend time with you and your brother and I sure have appreciated the help!

From the time we got home from the hospital you’ve been growing and changing. You’ve packed on the pounds and mama has been shedding them! We make a pretty good team that way, buddy. Go us!

You open your eyes and play about 4 hours a day currently. You sleep a lot. At the beginning of the month you were going about every 2-3 hours between feelings but now you’ve stretched that to 4-5 hours! It’s been glorious to only have to wake up 2-3 times a night with you. You’re so easy at night too; I just feed you, change your diaper, swaddle you up and lay you back down and you’re out for the count. Let’s keep that up shall we?

Some things you like are: Your Dada’s voice, bassy music, your pacifier, your vibrating chair, your swing, the moby wrap and long walks. You love your mommy too and always want to be held by her. If I put you down and walk away you cry, but as soon as I walk back into the room you stop. It’s pretty funny and sweet. You also really like your Uncle Chris’ voice. You talk to him every time he holds you. You talk a lot to your Grandma and Auntie JuJu too!

Some things you DON’T like are: Your brother’s scream, anytime he crashes something on the floor of the playroom, any loud noise for that matter, being left alone, the sun when you’re sleeping, waking up in general, milk, tomato products, coffee, being wet or poopy.

This past month you’ve been visited by all our mommy and daddy’s immediate family, friends from church, neighbors, and great grandparents. We also made a trip to riverside on my last weekend of maternity leave to visit Auntie Am’s new twin girls Chandler and Tessa. You’re going to have to choose between the two of them, and good luck because they are going to be awesome. We also got to meet Baby Vasquez — Ezra. Mama didn’t get a picture of you two together because Ms. Christina and I spent the whole time catching up and talking. I promise we’ll get one soon! You were a champ on the drive (3 hours total because of stopping to feed you, change you and grab dinner) and slept most of the time. I’m sensing a theme here… You like your sleep.

You also made two trips to one of our favorite places: Underwood Family Farms. It’s a family run farm with chickens and goats and horses and cows, tractors, hay bails, and best of all — a farmers market with fresh produce. We especially love the strawberries. Yum. You were champ both times and love being in the wrap. You just sleep most of the time.

You’re going to be my lazy sleeper aren’t you? I’m going to have to work hard to wake you up in the morning, smack you in the back of the head when you fall asleep in church, and slam on the table when you fall asleep at breakfast. Heh.

I cannot wait to see your personality develop more over this coming year! What fun we are going to have. We love you so much Sleepy Sam!


The Birth of Samuel William Lopez


Sammy’s birth was a “planned birth”, meaning I was going to go to the hospital, walk up to L&D, be admitted to a room, prepped and then walk down to the OR, receive a spinal block and then have the baby surgically removed from my body. We arrived at the decision to have a scheduled csection after discussing options with my doctor and discussing how my labor with Teddy went. So many times I went back and forth about whether a scheduled c section was right. Was I playing God? Was it too soon? Would the baby be ready to come into the world? Would we still be able to bond? Would I still be able to breastfeed? 

I went through multiple emotions leading up to the day of Sam’s birth, especially after having a previous miscarriage. I worried that this wouldn’t feel like a birth, that I wouldn’t bond with him and that without the natural process of labor I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed and there would be complications. Some of that was true, and in huge ways God showed up to prove that wasn’t all true.


Alex and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am. I had only slept for 2.5 hours so as soon as they gowned me and started hooking me up I started to doze off. Debbie and Wil showed up at 7 am for Debbie and Alex to be suited up! Debbie was pretty excited to see what a csection looked like from the other side having has two with her boys. 

I walked down the hall at 7:30 am and walked straight into the OR. The anesthesiologist met me there with the NICU assistant to discuss how to birth would go. And we started. My doctor duo was amazing. I started feeling the effects of the spinal right away and I even threw up a bit before Alex and Debbie got in the room. But as soon as it all kicked in, I was good to go. 

It’s so surreal to have conversations with the surgeons while you falayed open on the table. We talked about their kids, their recent trip to Africa, and complained about the air conditioning (or lack there of) in the OR. And then, they were about to pull the baby out! 

Alex leaned over the screen and said, “Oh! It’s a boy!” 

“I knew it!” I said. Because I did. 


Debbie was so great. She caught everything on tape and took pictures too. They had to suction him right away because he had lots of fluid. It felt like forever just watching them try and encourage him to breath. Then the oxygen mask came out. I started to panic. Alex was just standing there looking at him. I could tell he was anxious and just as I was about to shout out, “hold his hand!” Alex asked it he could touch him. Huge relief. The NICU nurse was fantastic. He let Alex hold the oxygen mask on and stroke his arm, talking to him. But, it didn’t clear up. 


I so badly wanted to hold him but as soon as they handed him to me and I saw his ragged breathing I couldn’t help but hand him back. I couldn’t fix him. And I had to stay where I was. But I knew Alex could be there. My other half.

Everyone kept saying he would be okay but I couldn’t believe them. 

Alex had Debbie go into the waiting room to update everyone. She said, “It’s a boy! And he’s WHITE! He’s so beautiful!” 

This little boy was/is so pale. I almost didn’t believe he had just come out of me. He looked so different from his brother. And he’s so beautiful! I was so glad Debbie was there to update everyone so Alex could be with our little pale baby boy I n the NICU. 

For what felt like hours (and it was) I waited. I had a bad reaction to the morphine and threw up for almost 6 hours afterward. That caused some bruising and also meant I couldn’t visit Sam in the NICU. I tried so hard to not throw up so I could hold him, but I didn’t get to actually hold him until 6 hours later. 

That 6 hours was hard for me. I know nothing was really wrong with him — he just needed help in transition, but I just couldn’t help escalating it in my mind. And the longer I didn’t hold him the more I felt that I wasn’t going to bond. 


When Alex brought him to me, I only had to try for 5 mins to get him to nurse. The NICU was so great and didn’t try to supplement until I could nurse. And he latched right away. A huge relief. Alex, who had been trying to hold it all together, burst into tears. He was so worried for Sammy and knew how much it meant to me to get him to latch and finally hold him. He’s such a good man. 

That first day was a blur. Everyone sweetly asked how I was doing. To be honest, it took me two days to feel truly bonded to him. I went through the motions the first day of feeding him and holding him and I allowed myself to be okay with that. I kept reminding myself that I have his whole life to love him. That I didn’t lose him. That he’s here and healthy. 

Now, I never want to put him down. He’s with me all the time or being held by someone. He maybe spends 4 hours in his crib a day, if ever.

39 Weeks and 1 Day!


 Little Baby, 

We are hours away from your birth. It’s your birthday as I’m typing this. I can’t believe the day is here. 

I’m so anxious and excited to hold you little one! Your Daddy has been snoring and talking in his sleep for the past few hours while I’ve drifted in and out of conciousness. I cannot believe in three hours I’ll be “waking up” and it will be time to go to the hospital. 

Little one, you are loved so much already and I can’t help but feel such a strong burden for you. The weight on my shoulders of raising you up right and showing you all of your amazing potential. I pray you know how amazing you are. I pray I can protect you. I pray you will always feel safe and loved. I know I can’t do all of it on my own and I know there will be times where you don’t feel those things, but I know the Lord holds you in His hands. He’s already written your story and it’s going to be beautiful. 

I love you so much little baby. 

Please come quickly and safely.