Sam | 12 Months

sam_12_months_onesieThe Great Sambino. You are now a year old. I can hardly believe a whole year has gone by and at the same time, it was one of the longest years ever! Adjusting to a life with two rambunctious boys who feed off of each other (good and bad) has been an adventure, to say the least.

You are now 21 lbs, you’re in the 80th percentile for most everything and you continually amaze your pediatrician with how much you’re doing. You babble ALL. THE. TIME. You can point to what you want, throw temper tantrums, “hum” to yourself, walk, say “Mama”, “Nana”, Baa-baa (bubba)”, “ah-duh” (all done), and “ahhhhhhhh!” which is the universal word for “pay attention to me and what I’m saying!”

You’ve surprised me at your ability to play independently for so long. You love having someone play next to you, but you already show your preference for doing things yourself, your way. It cracks me up to see you get upset when I undo what you just did. You express you disappointment with grunts and “ehh”, while you toss whatever it is that I disrupted.

Your love for your Dad is blatant. I’m not jealous at all, as you can tell. You clearly favor him and it’s so sweet. You and your brother both LOVE him tremendously. You clamor for time with him any chance you can get. He’s funny, fun, creative, attentive. Who wouldn’t want to be with him all the time?

Your favorite foods are:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Blueberries
  • Apples and Apple sauce
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Any kind of cracker or bread (aka, pizza)
  • Popcorn

You recently switched to whole milk and love it, so long as it warmed to the correct temperature — otherwise you protest by arching your back and sobbing. You also tend to do this when your milk is finished.

You love to:

  • Dance
  • Sing
  • Play with cars
  • Chase your brother
  • Be outside
  • Eat
  • Take this a part/test their limitations

You take two naps a day and you’re one of the easiest babies to put to sleep. You are fine with rocking or not. Cuddling or not. Singing or not. At any point if I decide you’re too wiggly and you just need to rest in your crib until you fall asleep I kiss your head, lay you down and you protest for a maximum of 2 minutes. Then, you sing yourself to sleep. I’m sure it’s just a phase but it’s oh so sweet.

You are currently getting your one year molars which has you drooling like a bulldog and nawing like a puppy.

We didn’t have any crazy adventures this month, but rather we really enjoyed the “going through the motions” of every day life. Church on Sundays, naps in the afternoon, playing in the backyard, trips to the park, working in the backyard, meeting up with friends, making meals, doing chores, and learning to be together as a family. It was nice. The biggest adventure this month was your First Birthday! We had some family and close friends come for a few hours and celebrate your day with us. We had your favorite food (pizza) and a pop corn bar with fun mix-ins, a pinata, and of course cake. Your mom tried not to go too crazy with the decor and games and such. She can get a little nuts. Between preparing for Good Friday service and Easter service, it helped keep me in check.

Seeing all these wonderful people here to celebrate you and your one year of life had me all warm and fuzzy inside. You enjoyed your cake and we enjoyed watching the sugar kick in while you ate it.

I look back at a year ago and I try to remember how it felt to hold you, 6 hours after you were born (due to complications for us both from delivery), and I just remember feeling peace. Feeling whole. You were what I needed. You were so little, needed so much attention and care, yet you were so easy and sweet — right from the beginning. God made you perfectly for us, for our family. We are forever grateful to Him for you.

I can’t wait to see how much you grow and change in this coming year. We love you, Sam Sam.



Sam | 8 Months

sam_month_8_onesieWhoa Sam,

You’ve grown up so much this past month. We are a crawler now, a screamer when you’re hungry, and a champ at saying, “Mama!” You can also pull yourself up on things and then promptly fall over.

You love music. You rock back and forth to a family favorite, “Uptown Funk”. Or, the “Doh, Doh Song” as it is more affectionately known by your brother. We play “Stop. Go.” And you dance and stop with the music. Your laugh is so joyous and blasty. I LOVE it. You can play “peek-a-boo” all by yourself and you love when your brother plays it with you.

You want/need me a lot these days. Only me. You’ve started to cry if I had you off to someone and you really just want me to hold you. If I’m not holding you, you crawl around crying or climbing up my leg crying. You also have developed a good fake cry. It’s lovely.

You were sleeping through the night, but now you’ve managed to decide you want me multiple times throughout the night too. Your Dad has been a champ and gets up with you during the night too so I can have a break.

We’ve had so many fun adventures this month!

This month you had your first Halloween! We started the festivities with a trip to Conerstone Church’s trunk-or-treat where you and your brother dressed as an old race car driver and you were his mechanic. You’re a blast, kid. Always up for anything and always smiling.

On Halloween night, Nana and Papa came up and we dressed you as Charlie Brown. If you weren’t the cutest Charlie ever, then I don’t know what else!

You traveled out of state for the first time, to Arizona. There you met your GG Mary and GG Primo and Great Uncle Tony. Your brother ended up with a high fever while we were there and soon you followed. Thus, the next two weeks we would face fighting a family cold, you teething, and double ear infections for both of you boys. Phew, that was rough.

We also made a trip down to Riverside for a few days to help Auntie Amy and Uncle Trav — and to hang out with them, because we love ’em. You sure do love playing with Chan and Tess and they love you!
You had a visit from your Great Auntie Ro too! She came and spent the night with Nana and Papa. We went to the Reagan Library (a beautiful place)!

I know the next month is going to full of even more fun adventures, and I can’t wait to see you grow more and more into the amazing, fun kid I know you already are.


Teddy | 12 Months

Teddy, your are 1 year old today! What an amazing year it’s been. You came into this world with bright eyed wonder. You have always taken in everything with great care and you are always trying to figure things out — how to say a word, how something works, where something is coming from. You are fearless and curious. You are intentional and sweet. You love being outside and going on adventures. You love singing and dancing and learning. You are everything I’ve prayed for and more. How could I possibly have been so lucky to be chosen by God to be your Mom?

This past month you learned how to say “buh”, “juh” and “joo”. These aren’t exactly words but they are definitely milestones towards you learning how to say, “Boone” “Jonna” and “Ju-Ju”. You LOVE dancing and it so fun to have daily dance parties with you to some of your favorite songs. You’ve started to watch a little Mister Rodger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street. Those are two shows I loved watching growing up. You love to help out around the house. You like unloading the dishwasher, helping me put the clothes in the washer/dryer, flushing the toilet, walking the dog, chasing the vacuum cleaner, and throwing away the trash. It takes me a lot longer to get things done these days, but I love having you part of my tasks every day. You bring me so much joy.

You’ve made it to one, bubba bear. You’ve grown so much and Daddy’s and my hearts have grown more and more each day in love for you. We are so blessed and proud to have you. Happy Birthday!

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Wow! What a month. Teddy got to experience something this month that we definitely weren’t expecting. SNOW! We went up to Big Bear for a family wedding and it snowed! Teddy was so curious. Winter and snow are some of my most favorite things. I was so bummed we weren’t able to experience it this past Christmas, so I was probably more excited than Teddy when we woke up to a winter wonderland. When we were all ready, we took Teddy to the “Teddy Bear Cafe” for breakfast, because, well duh.

The wedding was beautiful. I had the privilege of being the photographer, which was a blast. We are so happy for you Bobby and Jennifer! Thank you for letting us be a part of your day. Gotta love those Lopezes!

We ALSO got to celebrate Auntie Jonna’s birthday this past month! We visited the new Santa Barbara Public Market for lunch and cupcakes, then we went to the beach for a little bit of cloud watching. And of course, dinner at Los Agaves.

The next weekend, Alex and I got to go on a dating flash back adventure. We traveled back to our hometown in Riverside where it all began. We visited some of our favorite spots there and in Huntington, Laguna Beach, and South Coast Plaza. We ate great food, took a nap during the day, and best of all we were able to have hours of conversation and time together with just each other. Don’t get me wrong, we love our Bubba bear and we missed him so much over that weekend, but it is so important for us to remember why we love each other and what we love about each other. So much of our time is spent on loving our little guy, that it’s easy to “forget” about needing to love each other too. Time away is a good way for us to reconnect and talk. We had a blast re-creating old pictures of our dating years, reading letters we had written to each other and listening to old c.d.s and mixed tapes. Teddy got to spend the WHOLE weekend with his Nana, Papa, Auntie Uncle, and his cousins. They took the train to San Juan and had fun adventures at the beach. We met up with them at Dos Lagos on our way home to capture one last picture with Teddy from when Alex proposed to me almost 7 years ago.

I also was able to celebrate my first mother’s day this year. We drove down to Riverside on Friday night to spend some time with Nana and Grandma on Saturday. We wanted to make sure they knew just how special they are to us. We took them out to eat, and bought them chocolates, Teddy even helped me make them bouquets of flowers. We drove home Saturday night and in the morning I got to have breakfast with my boys before church. After a great church service we went to the beach. It was SO WINDY, but Teddy had a blast. I didn’t care what we did, I just loved being with my boys.

The later part of this month was spent focusing all our efforts in helping Alex finish up his last classes, final exams, and papers. He has worked so hard over the last 18 months to finish his degree and last Saturday (the 17th) he walked to receive his bachelor’s degree in Psychology. We couldn’t have been prouder of him. Later, we gathered at one of our favorite hang out spots, The Stonehaus. The kids “played” bocce ball, while we enjoyed baguettes, food, drinks, and the wonderful company.

The NEXT DAY, we celebrated Teddy’s 1st birthday at Borchard Park in Newbury Park. It’s one of our most favorite parks. It’s right near the gym and our church meets there during the summer once a month for “church in the park”. We had balloons, streamers, toys, food and bubbles. Teddy had a blast eating his cake and playing with all the ladies his friends.

This time last year, we were holding our little (big) boy in our arms not knowing what to do with him. Now, I still don’t know what to do with this crazy, energetic, independent guy. He keeps me on my toes and tugs at my heart daily.

Happy Birthday, Teddy Bear!

Teddy | 11 Months

Teddy, I can’t believe next month you will be one year old. It’s crazy to think how much you’ve accomplished in just 11 months of life. You spent this past month expressing your independence through exploring, learning, and opinions. You’re pointing at things and grunting quite a lot. You’ve learned that if you point in a direction long enough, someone will eventually move in that direction and if you wiggle, smile and grunt enough, you’ll get what you want. I thought it was going to be easier now that you can let me know what you want, but a whole new world is here now where when you don’t get what you want. You cry and throw yourself on the floor. I thought that didn’t come until you were two?

You say, “dada”, “mama” (rarely), “papa”, “nana”, “doggie”, “hi”, “ba-bah” (grandpa), “dah” (jonna), “dee-doo” (thank you), and a series of grunts and variations of “da” for things you want. You’ve also learned “come here” (you wave towards yourself). You wave “hi” when someone says, “hi”, but you hold your hand to your ear whenever someone says, “hello.” You give kisses if someone says, “Can ‘dada/mama/whomever’ have a kiss?”, but not when someone says, “Can I have a kiss?”. You like to wave “buh-bye” to Daddy every morning when he leaves for work and you cry whenever ANYONE leaves the room. It doesn’t matter if 5 people are with you and one person walks out. Inevitably, that’s the ONE person you don’t want to leave.

You’re growing up so much and it’s so fun. I can’t wait to see what new things you’ll learn this next month!

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This month has been crazy! We’ve travelled a lot and some of it I can’t even write all out because it was so crazy. We went to the beach many times this month because it’s Teddy’s favorite and despite my dislike for the beach in years past, I’ve actually come to enjoy it.

Nana and Papa went on a trip to Italy this month and we had the joy of picking them up at the airport! Teddy was a champ and was so excited to see them. He even made them a sign. We enjoyed seeing all their beautiful pictures and we enjoyed a quick trip visiting friends and family down south.

Later this month we made an epic journey from SLO to PASO to SAN JOSE, then back down to SLO and back home. All in about 4 days. It was a crazy, beautiful and fun adventure. I traveled whenever Teddy was napping and he was perfect. Even if he woke up and we still had a ways to drive, we would wave at each other and sing songs back and forth until we arrived. It’s amazing what songs and cheerios will do for an 11 month old! We visited Andie, The Brown Family and the Moseleys. We ate good food, had great conversation and made new friends. And the drive was BEAUTIFUL. Since Teddy napped every time we drove, I would listen to chill worship music, drive thru a Starbucks for a coffee and a treat, and then just enjoy the drive. Sometimes, I would cry from the sheer beauty of the view. Sometimes, I was processing our loss. Sometimes, I would roll down the windows to breath in the air. My hair would get messed up, the baby would wake up and I would realize I’m not a college student on a road trip. Heh. It was a blast.

The next weekend, my mom invited my sister and I to join her for a women’s retreat, which meant Teddy got to spend the weekend with Ba-bah (Grandpa). Every one at the retreat was so impressed that my Dad was watching him over night. Grandpa and Teddy had almost as much from as us girls did! It was such a sweet time with my sister and mom. We painted our nails, chatted for hours, and had times of fellowship with the other amazing ladies there. It went by way too quickly! But, at the same time, I was so ready to squeeze my little guy. He was happy to see me, and had huge hugs for grandpa before we left. He loves his grandparents, that for sure!

Much of this past month was spent getting ready for Christian Super Bowl (aka Easter). Lots of prep went into this past Sunday and the end result was wonderful. Everything ran smoothly and most importantly, people felt loved. It’s easy to get caught up in all the prep and forget the importance of the day we’re celebrating. So, I made sure to reign my Type-A personality in and just do a little bit each day while reflecting on Jesus’ sacrifice. Teddy even helped me get the “goodie bags” together. At first, it was frustrating that he kept trying to put stuff in the bags, but then a took a deep breath and found myself slowing down to allow him to help. It was so precious and I was reminded how important it is to teach our kids how to love others and take time for them.

Even if he crumpled a few bags and some kids got more stickers than others, every time I looked at one of those bags I smiled because my sweet little helper had put them together. And whoever received it was loved. It made me realize how much he can do, even if he’s so little. How impressionable he is, even at this young age. And the importance of taking every opportunity to teach him.

Last weekend, we had a wonderful relaxing time getting the signs together and prepping all the crafts for the kids but best of all, just being a family. Alex finally finished his Saturday classes so we had a Saturday all to ourselves! Then, Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, Teddy turned 11 months old! We dressed him in his Easter outfit and loaded everything in the car.

We arrived early and enjoyed a wonderful service with kiddos and people galore! 6 people were baptized on Sunday, and each and every person in the seats felt the weight of God’s sacrifice on Friday and the glory of his resurrection on Sunday, which meant our sins were forgiven.

After a time of celebration we ran home, grabbed our suits and head to… you guessed it — the beach! Teddy had a blast crawling in the water and walking on the beach. He picked up seaweed and squealed at all the dogs running by. After a good time in the sun we made the trip toward home and stopped at the Kappens for Easter dinner, prayer, and hang out time. We are so loved by so many and we were so blessed to be a part of a family meal, since we couldn’t be with our amazing families.

Here’s to month 11!

Teddy | 10 Months

Teddy, I’m not going to lie, this month has been hard — to say the least. You’ve been sick, teething, trying to learn new things this month and it’s been a whirlwind. You’ve mastered copying intonation in our voices, saying, “mama”, “dada”, “bah”, “dah”, “nana” “ah-duh” and “eeeeeeeeeee”. You love to copy hand gestures and you wave at everyone. You can even sing! You constantly bring joy into our lives, even during tough times.

You have two new teeth coming in but only one has popped through giving you 5 teeth total! You just started learning to nod — though it looks more like you’re bowing, AND THEN on the last day of your 9th month on this earth you learned to walk! You’ve taken 5 steps already and you’re very apprehensive but you did it. I knew you could!

We are constantly amazed by the gift that you are to us. We love you.

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Where do I even begin? This month started out with us finding out some amazing news. While I was in the ER getting IV fluids from the awful flu I had, they doctor ran a pregnancy test and told me I was pregnant! I was floored. We had just started trying and I had taken a test the previous month but it was negative. I didn’t know how far along I was and they told me to make an appointment for that week with my OB. I drove home with new energy so excited to tell Alex. They gave me a piece of paper that said, “It has been determined that you are pregnant”, so I circled it a bunch and put some exclamation points after it. When I got home Alex was rocking Teddy so I got ready for bed and put the paper on his pillow.

When he walked in he thought it was a bill for the hospital and was frustrated, but then it hit him… “Are you serious?”, he said. I just shook my head and laughed. He face planted onto the bed. We both were shocked and excited.

The rest of the week is kind of a blur, I wasn’t able to get an appointment until the following week on a Tuesday, so we went through the week with this huge secret and getting excited. We told Teddy he was going to be a big brother — which of course he understood completely. Tuesday rolled around and we were so excited. I had mentioned to Alex that “this was the ultrasound where we [would] get the first picture of our baby!” We arrived and there was no one in the OB office, which I thought was strange. We were put into a room and we waited. The nurse and doctor came in and Alex excitedly talked with the nurse about how Teddy was going to be a great big brother. The doctor placed the ultrasound and looked and looked and looked… and looked. I saw the baby. I saw the sac. But what I didn’t see was a heartbeat. I knew. He didn’t even have to tell me. I remembered so vividly seeing the flicker of Teddy’s heartbeat and it was very clear to me that there wasn’t one here.

The doctor was quiet. The nurse was quiet. Then, finally he said, “Here’s the sac and here’s the baby, but as you can see… there is no heartbeat.” All I could say was, “Yes. I can see that.” I just started answering in the affirmative to every question. I don’t even remember what he said. Then, he printed out the picture. The first and last picture I would ever have of our baby. And I lost it. I was supposed to put that picture up on our fridge next to the one we have of Teddy. I couldn’t handle what was happening and it came out in shaking and tears.

Slowly, we began the process of telling family and friends that we had miscarried — which was difficult because we hadn’t even told everyone we were pregnant yet. I heard some amazing encouragement and had tearful phone calls for days with amazing people who loved on us. People brought us meals, visited us, took care of Teddy so I could rest and mourn. People were amazing. Loving. Alex and I researched our options, I spoke with people who had experienced all the options and ultimately we decided on a D&C. It was hard. They call it a “missed abortion”. It hurt to have a word with such a negative connotation ascribed to this situation where I wanted this baby.

Family surrounded us in the days before, loving on us and taking me shopping (Thanks Debbie). Then, my mother and grandmother came the day before my surgery and helped me. They stayed the day after so I could sleep. I remember being at peace about my decision. I don’t remember feeling empty like I thought I would. I just remember being so very tired. Teddy was amazing. He was so loving, cuddly, and so well behaved with whoever was watching him (Thanks Christy). So many people took care of us, bringing us meals (Thanks Jonna, Sarah and Billy, Sal and Barrett), wine and Oreos (Thanks Am), and talking to us (Thanks Andie, Bree, Ash, Amber, Kim, Meg, Cris, Sarah, Crisa), praying for us (Thanks, EVERYONE!). We felt so much love.

We didn’t really come out of the fog for a few days and I had finally had it. I just wanted to get out of the house. Amber agreed to meet me in Pasadena at the Kidspace Museum with the cousins. WE HAD A BLAST! The kids did too. It was so nice to just do something fun.

But, when I got home I was so tired. I tried to relax but I started shaking and felt cold. I did my best for about 4 hours playing with Teddy and getting him ready for bed, but when Alex got home from studying he took my temp and it was 102. I had to go to the ER because of the risk of infection so Auntie Jonna came over to watch Teddy. I was so out of it that when Billy and Sarah arrived at the hospital, I saw them and said, “Why are you guys here?” Sarah just laughed and said, “Because you’re here.” They admitted me and I finally went home around 3:00 am with antibiotics. The infection made things so much harder. The antibiotics were awful on my stomach and I was still having a full fledged “recovery” from the surgery.

I’m still recovering. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. We celebrate the life that we have and the precious boy we have. We mourn the loss of our little one. In all the mess, we continue living and enjoying and praising God for his provision and grace and LOVE.

And Teddy, he just keeps on smiling, growing, learning and changing. It’s been an insane month, but in the end We KNOW we are blessed. Blessed with life, friends, and our health. We are even blessed with the things we lose, because we had the joy of them being OURS even if it was just for a while.

To share in the joy that life brings, here are some pictures of our sweet Teddy and some of his adventures this month. Enjoy!

Teddy | 8 Months

Teddy, this past month flew by! Between Christmas, New Year’s, My birthday and Daddy and My anniversary, we’ve had a crazy month. You, still, never cease to amaze me. You are so warm and sweet. You are much more mobile now, so cuddling is rare, but you’ve started to show your preference for me and you kiss me a whole lot! You absolutely adore your Dad. Every time he comes home for lunch or home from work you leap from my arms and squeal as you crawl towards him. It’s the sweetest thing. You and Boone are best pals now. You love to give him treats and you’re learning to give him space — sort of. This month you got two new top teeth and you learned how to stand on your own for 10 seconds! I think you’ll be walking by nine months and then, I better watch out! Oh, and in other news, you slept through the night TWICE this month. Thank you for the 8 hours Teddy!

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This past month, seriously has been a whirlwind. Where do I begin? First, we celebrated Teddy’s first Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day! We had a blast opening presents and sharing special time with family. I can’t wait to see more cousins enter the picture and see these little ones share memories as they grow. Some of my closest friends are my cousins. I cherished growing up with them and I love them dearly.

This month we had quite a few adventures. The first was an overnight stay with friends from church. Alex’s company hosts an annual party and this year I was able to help put it on! It ended up being an overnight trip so we had some dear friends from church offer to watch Teddy for us. I was nervous, but I knew they could handle it. Alex and I had a blast! Teddy on the other hand gave our friends a run for their money. I hope they still want to have children. He didn’t drink any milk for 12 hours — he just refused. Finally, they were able to get him to drink at 3:00 am and he drank 9 oz. Geesh. Still, they told me they had a fun time and they still love us, so that’s good.

That same weekend, Auntie Am, Uncle Trav, Camden and Tenley came for the weekend. Trav and Amy had a wedding to attend so Alex and I watched all three kids. Well, first Jonna and I watched them at her place because I lost my keys and couldn’t get into our apartment. Doh. Then we trekked over to our place and watched the kids go crazy in our tiny apartment. It was so much fun. When Trav and Amy got back we took out two blow up beds and made a giant one in the middle of the living room. Tenley was so excited. She kept bouncing on the bed and yelling, “This is the best night EVEEEERR!” Trav and Amy didn’t have the greatest night sleep, but I loved having them here! Next time I promise you won’t end up on the floor, freezing, sorry guys!

The weekend afterward, we drove to Mission Viejo to visit our dear friends Ali and Ashley. They are the parents to our godson Jaxon. Jaxon just go a new baby brother, so we had been dying to meet him. We drove over and they took us to a really fun petting zoo in San Juan Capistrano. Teddy loved feeding all the different animals and playing legos with Jackie.

Next, was my birthday! My first birthday as a Mom. I don’t know why Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s didn’t really have the effect I excepted on me — but my birthday seemed to just become a super emotional thing. Ever since I was a young girl I’d wanted to be a mother, and here I was a mother. Turning 28, standing in my kitchen with my two boys, the best birthday presents ever. I was overcome. Too top it off, both boys brought me breakfast and each gave me a birthday card. Teddy’s was my favorite.

Then our small group surprised me with a little shindig at one of my favorite places Stonehaus in Thousand Oaks. We enjoyed and evening of baguettes, wine, cheese, olives, and lots of birthday questions. Sarah, our fearless leader, always has a bunch of birthday questions that she asks the honorary birthday person and I personally love them.

I can’t forget to mention my bestie. Who drove what was supposed to be a 45 minute trip for both of us, and because of traffic and accidents turned into an hour and half trip for us both. We were supposed to meet up at a Kids Museum in Pasadena. It’s supposed to be super fun, but we didn’t realize that it’s closed on Mondays. Literally, the ONLY day it’s closed. Shoot. We made it work and approached some of the moms at the park nearby to ask what we should do. They recommended “Amy’s Place” in South Pasadena. It’s an indoor play place for the kids and man did they have a blast. Amy and I got to talk and eat our sandwiches in peace while the kids ran, crawled, and frankenstein walked (Camden) around. I love those Cotsenmoyers.

Then, came our anniversary weekend. I learned my lesson on the bottle situation and decided to solely pump for the two weeks leading up to our BIG anniversary weekend. We had planned to go out of town for 2 days while my Mom and sister came up to watch Teddy. I was nervous I wouldn’t have enough milk, but I was able to get Teddy to take a bottle for the whole two weeks prior and I even cut the milk with some formula. The day arrived for us to leave and I nervously made the 5 hour drive to Monterey with Alex. It’s amazing how Dads can just “checkout” after they kiss their kids goodbye, isn’t it? Alex was all relaxed and excited for the weekend as soon as we left. It took me a good 2 hours into the drive to finally jump on the road trip karaoke bang wagon. But, I finally did and we ended up having a wonderful trip! I definitely need to do a whole post dedicated to all the amazing things we did. First, we stayed at John Steinbeck’s cottage — it was magical. We visited quite possibility the coolest aquarium ever,  we had pancakes bigger than the plates they were served on, and ate sorbet from an ice sculpted swan. Come Sunday, I was really missing the Bubbas so we made the 5 hour trip back. Teddy wasn’t even mad when I picked him up, which made me so happy. Grandma and Auntie Jules had a great time too.

I can’t say enough how thankful I am for great friends and family who love and take of us so well. We are blessed.

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!

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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!

Teddy | 6 Months

Half a year! Teddy, you’ve made it. Not only have you survived without any serious bodily injury, but I don’t think we’ve messed you up mentally really either. You love to challenge us — that’s for sure. You make a decision and you just go for it. Nothing is going to stand in your way!

You continue to show you absolute favoritism to our dog. Boone. Yes, Boone is your most favorite thing in the whole world. I never thought I would have to compete with the family dog, but both Dad and I struggle to get your attention if Boone is in the room. You laugh and screech hysterically whenever he enters the room.

You’re also loving food and crawling everywhere. I cannot turn my back for a second and there is absolutely no getting anything done while you’re awake. You require my complete attention now. It’s fun though. You are such a fun guy to hang out with. You love to explore things around the house. Your favorite thing right now is boxes, cords, and the laptop. That could have something to do with the fact that we moved this month, but I also think you love the computer because you get to talk to Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa on the computer. You love them too, just not as much as Boone.

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Teddy has had so many adventures this month. He had his first Halloween where he dressed up as a pilot and Boone dressed up as an airplane. We really wanted to do a family costume that was a bit more creative but between the move and Alex’s school schedule, there was just no way.I look forward to doing something awesome and creative next year! Not to discredit this year, because it was pretty stinkin’ cute.

We also moved this month. It was a crazy endeavor but we could not have done it without my parents and Creswell helping me pack and our amazing friends who helped us move! Then those who came over to help me UNPACK! Seriously, we are crazy blessed. Moving with a baby was so different from other moves we’ve done. I felt completely disorganized and felt like I didn’t help at all. It was a humbling experience for me and I’ve been realizing that even though I love helping others, sometimes it’s okay to receive help as well. I don’t need to apologize for it either — just take the help and say “thank you.” Again, I am so blessed.

Teddy has his six month check up this week and I’m pretty sure he’s over 20 lbs now. Exercising with him has been fun. I feel like I’m building up some great arm muscles from tossing him in the air and doing “baby-kisses pushups”. He doesn’t stay on his back very long for those though.

The milestones that Teddy met this month include: actual crawling, pulling himself up on things, saying “baba”, getting his first teeth (the bottom two), and eating real food! I feel like this past month he just decided he was going to accomplish a bunch of things and he just did it! Remember how I was saying it’s so nice that he’s not growing up too fast? Well watch out! I’m pretty sure this kid is going to be walking by 9 months.

Teddy can crawl so quickly now. I cannot turn my back for a second. He’s getting into everything. The cupboards, the dog bowls, the boxes, the trash, cords behind the couch. He’s obsessed with everything he shouldn’t be. It’s going to be out goal this weekend to start baby proofing the house, that’s for sure.

Not only can Teddy crawl, but he can pull himself up onto things. He crawls over to his walker and tries desperately to pull himself up to reach the toys. Thank goodness we have carpet now because on the wood floors he would never be able to get up on it. There is an unfortunate side effect to this new talent though. He falls a lot! I’ve been able to catch him many times but it’s crazy how fast he just topples over without any warning! He’s a trooper and gets right back up. We haven’t had any big tears yet.

Teddy’s newest addition to his language set is “baba”. He says this all the time. When I say all the time, I mean it. At his 3:00 am feeding and diaper change, as his 6:00 am wake up call, morning, noon and night. What is hilarious is that he will not say, “dada” anymore. If you say, “baba” to him he just goes and goes repeating it back and smiling at you. But once you say, “dada” he clams up. It’s the strangest thing. But again, when he decides something he’s going to do it. No bones about it. I am of course really looking forward to him saying, “mama”. I’m pretty sure my heart with just melt out of my chest and I’lll cry.

Teddy has also started eating food this month. He loves sweet potatoes, squash, avocado and chocolate shakes. Haha, okay, we’ve only given him a few sips of one, but he sure loves it. I’m so glad he likes such a variety of foods already. What we’ve found most interesting is that he LOVES sour and salty things like pickles and olives. Of course I LOVE them too so it makes me excited to see some of myself in him.

The weekend we moved we also had a fun family celebration! Nana and Papa celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. Papa surprised Nana with a vow renewal which we all were able to be a part of. It was very special. Afterward we went to Santa Barbara for family pictures taken by the amazing Alex Creswell (Andie as we call her) and dinner. It was a lovely day.

Finally, Teddy’s biggest and most exciting adventure this month was his first trip to Disneyland! We drove down on Monday morning to meet Grandpa, Grandma Aunt Jewels, Uncle Thomas, and Uncle Jonathan to celebrate Grandpa’s birthday. We spent all day on Monday at the park and then Teddy and I were able to stay another day at the park on Tuesday. I know that Teddy won’t really remember the trip, but I know Alex and I will have fond memories of his first trip.

I can’t believe we’re entering into the holidays. I’m so excited for Teddy’s first Thanksgiving and Christmas. Until then though, here are a few pictures from this month with our little Bubba Bear.

Teddy | 5 Months

Teddy you are our little squirmer and talker! You are always on the move. You love to jump, “walk” in your walker and army crawl. You also learned how to say, “dada” this month and you LOVE to wake up around 5:00 am with a song in your heart — except you usually share it with the entire neighborhood.

You, as usual, are very vocal about your distaste for things like your carseat and being left alone for any amount of time even if I just walk into the kitchen. You have been tasting different foods this month and I think you’re finally ready to start trying some food! At first you always make a face as though you’re shocked and mad that we fed you, but then you seem to really enjoy whatever we give you.  You’re very excited about starting to try new foods and you often try to reach for whatever I’m eating or drinking. Your hand-eye coordination is really good! You even seem to understand the difference between food items and non-food items.

You continue to be the happiest and easiest baby in the world. Even when you got sick this month with a cold we would still smile and laugh constantly. You had so many fun adventures this month including your first camping trip! You were a trooper and even slept fairly well through the night.

You most definitely are going to start crawling this month and we are SO NOT READY! But, ready or not, HERE YOU COME!

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Teddy is a champ. He’s always up for anything and boy have we tried a lot with him this month! Teddy had his first trip to San Luis Obispo this month and his first sink bath, he started saying his first word, he went on his first camping trip, and even went to the park for the first time! He is such a trooper and a dare devil. He’s fearless and comfortable doing just about anything. Some things make him apprehensive at first but once he gets going he loves whatever we throw at him.

His sleeping patterns this month have left much to be desired. He’s back to waking up every 4 hours and I am exhausted. When does the sleep come again? My brain needs it.

One thing that is amazing though is this kid’s ability to fall asleep anywhere (he gets it from his Dad for sure). In the middle of a noisy church service, a classroom, a starbucks or the beach, if this kid is tired there ain’t nothing gonna stop him from sleeping.

He still isn’t too fond of the adventure chair unless someone is sitting in the back with him. I don’t mind doing it, but on long car rides I’ve found myself getting pretty sick in the back so we’re at a point where we’re wondering if we should just let him be frustrated and figure it out or try something new. For the most part, Teddy is a super easy-go-lucky baby but when it comes to the adventure chair there is no changing his mind. He HATES it.

A few things he does love are his jumper and his walker. I LOVE it because he just goes and goes while I am cooking, doing dishes, or doing laundry. It sure beats caring around this 18 lb hunk of baby. That’s right, folks! 18 lbs.

This month Teddy was dedicated to the Lord at our church in Newbury Park. Almost all our family was able to make it up and it was a wonderful service. I remember seeing pictures and video of my brother, sister and I being dedicated and thinking how fun it would be when I had my own. I definitely teared up while we were up there with our extended family and church family lifting us up in prayer and praying blessing over Teddy’s life.

We chose 1 Samuel 1:27-28 as his life verse because it is the verse that came to me the day I found out I was pregnant. It also was the inspiration for his name because the verse explains that God was faithful to answer our prayers for a child and because of that we acknowledge that he is a gift from God and should be constantly given back to him, for his whole life. To say we are blessed seems to be the understatement of the century but we are. Here’s a link to the dedication video if you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.

The craziest thing we did this month was a train ride from Riverside. The train was WAY better than driving because I could change his diaper and feed him whenever I needed to without having to pull over — but man, lugging around a stroller, bags, diaper bag, and an 18lb baby through Union Station is quite comical. I survived though and Teddy really enjoyed the ride.

Okay, I take it back. The CRAZIEST thing we did this month was take our 5 month old on a camping trip. EVERYONE thought we were crazy and brave. I just tried not to think about it. Being out here has been challenging and having a baby makes being a part of a community even harder because (surprise) it take a lot of work to get places and do things with a baby.

So, when our church announced that we were doing an all church camping trip, Alex and I resolved that we were going to make it happen. I am so glad we did. Teddy was fantastic and we had so much help and love shown to us on the trip. Did I mention how much I love our church family? Teddy does too, that’s for sure. He even ALMOST crawled to Miss Sarah, on the beach. This kid is not lacking in the love department at all.

What an amazing month it’s been so far. We never think it’s possible to love this little guy more, but every day we are in awe of how much more we love him. I think it’s been the craziest yet. Next month will be even crazier though because we’re attempting a move — with a baby! More on that in the future. Until then, here are a few favorite photos from our adventures this month with the Bubba Bear.

Teddy | 4 Months

Teddy, I know I say it all the time but you are just the best baby! You are so easy, friendly, cuddly and so darn sweet.  You make everyone feel like a million bucks with your sweet smile and you’re growing leaps and bounds. Your doctor says you have the biggest personality and you are so strong. He’s right! You are constantly on the move, squirming and scooting and rolling everywhere. You are getting very tired of your playmat and find it boring. You always have to exploring whatever I’m doing. It’s so sweet to watch you intensely taking in all my moves when I’m making dinner or doing dishes and playing with Boone.

You love to grab and pull. And you really love your puppy Boone. He dances around for you and you laugh. You started laughing some really deep laughs this month and it brings Daddy and I so much joy to hear it. Thank you so much for not growing up too fast — I love every moment I get to spend with you.

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Teddy is now 15.25 lbs and well over 2 feet long now. He is usually in the 90th percentile for weight, but he’s dropped down to the 70th which the doctor said is probably because of all his moving around. He rolls everywhere and squirms all the time.

My favorite thing that Teddy has done more intentionally now is holding my hand and reaching for Daddy’s & my face. It is just the sweetest thing every time. He LOVES to intertwine his fingers with mine and he even finds it comforting while we drive in the car if he can hold my hand.

Some of Teddy’s favorite people are his grandparents. He LOVES to Facetime with them and we do it as often as we can.

Some new tricks Teddy learned this month was sitting up on his own. I still prop him with pillows but he sure has some strong abs! He can sit up all on his own from a reclined position. He’s using his strength any way he can, from turning over his play gym to throwing things, and kicking and grabbing. If he wants something he just goes for it!

Another thing he’s been up to this month is getting up on his knees while on his tummy. He is working so hard to crawl, but I think he’s still going to hold out until 6 months to actually do it.

Alex thinks that he’ll be crawling by the end of this month. We’ll see!

Teddy is also obsessed with his feet. He grabs them all the time, even in the bath, which makes it hard to keep him reclined. Once he’s fully sitting up on his own we will have to transition him to a bigger tub, that’s for sure! He can’t quite get his feet into his mouth yet, but he does everything he can to try. It is so amazing to see him trying to accomplish things on his own. I’m so proud!

Now, some new things Teddy is doing that are not so awesome… He has been waking up more during the night. The doctor said it’s probably because he’s so much more aware and that putting him in his own room soon would be a good idea. I agree! It’s like every sound wakes him up. And, he’s eating a lot more — which is most likely because he’s going through a growth spurt.

But, seriously will we ever get to sleep again??

The last thing that hasn’t been that awesome is Teddy’s lack of enthusiasm about the adventure chair. We started calling it that because we wanted him to like it and be excited for all our adventures. We were doing great there for a while, but now he seems to be very aware of the fact that he’s strapped in. He can’t grab for things as easily and he can’t reach his toes. He gets so frustrated! I hope that goes away soon because we drive a lot!

Overall though, this kid is amazing. He’s the best Teddy around. I can’t wait to hear his little voice in the next few months and see how he will continue to grow!

Until then, he are a few pictures from this month.

Happy 4 Months, Teddy!