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

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’s 1st Birthday Party!

Oh boy, oh boy! I cannot believe we are celebrating our little Teddy Bear’s 1st birthday. This year has been such an amazing adventure. Teddy is a giant ray of sunshine. He always brings joy to whomever he meets. We are constantly told that he’s a beautiful and sweet boy. I hope he always remains so loving and happy.

We decided to throw Teddy a birthday party with friends and family on Sunday, the 18th and yes, the day after his Daddy’s graduation. What was I thinking? The entire weekend was crazy, but I wouldn’t have been able to pull it all off without our amazing family and friends.

We reserved one of Teddy’s favorite parks and decorated it with balloons, streamers, banners, butcher paper, crayons, and toys toys toys! We had a bubble machine and lots of food. Fun was had by all.

I made Teddy’s cake out of pancakes, which I stacked in rainbow colors and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. HE LOVED IT! He didn’t even finish the first pancake, but boy, when the sugar kicked in it was hilarious. His eyes lit up and he gave a HUGE grin. It made my heart melt.

Everyone loves this little guy so much. It’s so sweet to me that he has so many amazing people surrounding him, helping us raise him. I don’t know where we would be without all these amazing people. Thank you so much for those of you who could come and even those who couldn’t! We KNOW you love Teddy and he does too.

Teddy loved hanging with all his friends yesterday and opening his gifts. Everyone was so generous to give him toys, clothes and diapers. What a blessing to us that is! He pulled out all his toys and my house is a disaster now so, thanks everyone!

Happy first birthday party, Teddy!

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’s Firsts | Christmas

Growing up, Alex and I never spent Christmas together.  We always spent it with our families because we each had our own traditions and there’s something sacred about that family time during the holidays. After we were married we really wanted to split the time evenly as much as possible and we still do to this day. So, Christmas is always crazy! So much fun, but crazy.  Now that we live 2 hours away it’s even crazier. Oh, and we have a baby now too.

Our family has really been working on setting down roots here in Thousand Oaks. Part of that has been finding and growing with a church family. Boy, we have a great one. We decided to stay in Thousand Oaks through Christmas morning and then make the trek down to Riverside to see our families.

Christmas Eve service at church was magical. They had huge trees, poinsettias, lights, candles, and lots of music. I even was asked to direct the children’s choir on one of the songs. The evening was spent singing songs together and lighting candles. It was wonderful. Then we went home, ordered pizza and exchanged gifts with Auntie Jonna.

Teddy received so many cool gifts! including this “THEODORABLE” shirt.

Jonna went home to make the trek to Riverside herself, while Alex and I stayed up late setting up Teddy’s toys and wrapping the remaining gifts before passing out.

Since Teddy went to bed so late, we thought for sure he would sleep until at least 7:00. WRONG! Teddy was up at 5:00 am! Just as usual. You would have thought he knew it was Christmas. Alex played with Teddy while I put on some Christmas music, started the hot cocoa and got the camera ready. Then, Alex had Teddy crawl out to see his gifts! A ball pit, block toys, and stacking toys too! I’m sure we were more excited than he was, but it was still so sweet to see his face light up.

Alex and I both screwed up in the gift giving department this year by giving each other our gifts early. We decided to just make it a tradition now. Truth be told, I’m the one you royally messed up and Alex was the one to swoop in and turn it into a romantic gesture. That guy. Alex bought me a kitchen aid mixer, which I’ve been asking for three years for! I got him the 007 Trilogy and a new dvd/sound system to play it on. I accidentally left his gift out while I was wrapping the other presents and when Alex came home he say the movies out and said, “Who’s THAT for?!”

“Crap. It’s for you.”

“YES! That’s the best present EVER!”

“I know.”

“But, it’s Blueray.”

“I know. I bought you a new dvd player to play it on.”


I was totally bummed and Alex was so sweet about it. I went out to get stuff for Children’s Ministry and when I came back my Kitchen Aid mixer was out on the counter with a note that said, “Alex, don’t forget to wrap this. Your pal, Alex.”

I actually closed my eyes when I saw it on the counter thinking it was a mistake. So, we just decided to make it our tradition instead. We forget to wrap each other’s gifts and the week of Christmas is fair game. We could receive our gift at any time. I think I like it this way. It’s kind of a special thing between us and we can keep Christmas about the kids.

OK, back to our Christmas Adventure!

We spent the morning playing with Teddy’s toys for a while, got dressed, drank our hot cocoa, ate breakfast, and packed up the car. Then, off we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house!

We arrived around 10:00 am and enjoyed a relaxing morning as family arrived slowly. Grammy and Pa, Aunt Julie Ann and Uncle Thomas, and Uncle Jonathan. It’s so nice to have family who take your kid away for a little while so you can just relax. Even if the whole time you don’t know what to do with yourself. How did I hold my arms before I had a kid? Why am I always swaying back and forth? Why am I cutting up my food into such tiny pieces for myself? All these questions and more.

Anyway! We enjoyed a relaxing day, exchanging gifts and eating way too much food. Teddy was blessed with such fun toys and clothes. Alex and I were blessed as well! Our family started drawing names a few years back and it’s so nice. We focus on the time together instead of opening a million gifts. Each adult has one other adult in the family, all the kids get toys from everyone. My favorite part of Christmas really is the eating and the hanging out anyway.

When rounded out the day with an evening at Nana and Papa’s. Uncle Chris and Aunt Amber came with cousins, Julian and Emmy. Teddy and Julian are the cutest pair. Emmy is just the sweetest little thing. Teddy always has fun laughing with Julian and “talking” with Emmy. Since we have the three grandkids on this side opening presents is SO MUCH FUN! The adults draw names and of course we have fun opening those gifts, but the kids were just too much this year. The most hilarious thing was that the boy received tons of cars, planes, and boy stuff but they were the most interested in playing with Emmy’s tea set. Heh. She didn’t seem to mind much at all.

We all stayed at Nana and Papa’s house. We woke up early and enjoyed Cream of Wheat and more hang out time. We had to leave around noon to meet some friends for lunch at Gourmet Pizza in Redlands — our favorite! We had fun laughing, and eating and then more eating and laughing. Can you tell we really like to eat?

We went back to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the night and enjoyed relaxing the rest of the day.

On Friday we went to the Cotsenmoyers for Christmas there. Another fun time was had by all with three kids in the mix. Tenley took to making pictures and bracelets for everyone, while the boys wrestled over binkies and ate things off the floor. We had Del Taco (of course) for lunch and then all the adults melted into the couch to relax during naptime for the kiddos.

Finally, we made the rounds again to see Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa for goodbyes. Then made the trek home on Saturday evening.

We really enjoyed our relaxing and fun, first Christmas with our Teddy! I can’t wait for many more years to come!

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.