Monday, August 31, 2015

Our Move

We did it! We're all moved into our new place. It gets the stamp of approval from Ez for having plenty of space to run around, stairs to climb (which will probably give me a heart attack, but he's obsessed), and a park about a stone's throw away. Plus, empty boxes. Better than toys, for sure. I'm loving the walk in closet, huge master bathtub, and a Starbucks two blocks away. Oh, and the master bedroom has two closets, which is genius and that means the walk in is all mine. Oh yeah! Joe loves all the bathrooms (we went from 1 to 3 - how we lived with 1 I'll never know), and the central a/c. And Declan is just happy as long as their are ceiling fans. I catch him staring up at them and doing his cute little laugh squeak. 

The actual move itself went smoother than I expected, mostly because Ez and Declan were such rock stars that day. Movers arrived around 10 and were done at 2ish. I wore Declan part of the time, took breaks to nurse him in the car with the a/c blasting, and he slept outside in his stroller the rest of the time. Except for a freak rain shower, which of course would happen on moving day. Ez played in the backyard and snacked on goldfish crackers in the car (which I'm sure I'll still be finding tucked into the seat cracks years from now). 

After the movers left we tidied up and hit the road just before 4PM. We got to the hotel a little after 9, just in time for Declan to pooh all over the place. Although there's never a great time for a poo-splosion, we were happy he saved that for after the car ride. We've done the emergency public restroom carseat cover scrub on a road trip before and it's definitely not ideal. After quick showers all around we ordered late night pizza and fell into blissful sleep. Ha. Yeah right. Ez repaid us for the calm 5 hour drive by literally bouncing off the walls and randomly screaming at the top of his lungs for no good reason well into the night. Apparently Joe had to tackle him before he bounced off the bed at one point. So yeah, my idea of a smooth move is probably pretty different from someone without kids, but we pulled it off with minimal tears and that's all I can ask for.

Unpacking is slow going, especially because I got hit by a stomach bug for most of the weekend, but we've stocked the kitchen and we've already located our local target, so we've got the basics covered. Priorities.

A few pics in the new place, unfiltered and uncleaned:

Friday, August 28, 2015

Declan at 2 Months

Dear Declan,

You are my little doll. From your chubby cheeks and rolly thighs to your smiling doe eyes and silky soft hair (which is currently shedding all over the place). I could cuddle you all day long. But brother and daddy want their share of snuggles too, so I've gotta share you. Now that I know how fast these baby days fly by I try to savor all my best little moments with you. Like how you grip my finger with your tiny freakishly strong little hands. How you go from crying to smiling at the sound of mine and daddy's voices. Our daily conversations where I narrate whatever mundane thing I'm doing at the moment and you babble and coo back to me in your sweet baby voice. I swear, even your cries are cute. Except when we're in the car, then your cries mean business. You are so attentive and so easy going. If there was one thing I wish you'd quit doing it's stop growing so fast! Stay my baby as long as possible. Also, you're the king of poo explosions, so if you could cut that out that'd be great. I had to take a break from writing this because I looked over and you had poo on your face. How??! Oh, and your farts are the smelliest in the history of farts. But we love your smelly little butt more than you'll ever know, and we're so lucky to be your parents.


  • Family walks
  • Facing forward in the bjorn carrier
  • Your swing
  • Being talked to
  • Eating
  • Cooing
  • Spitting up on daddy
  • Farting
  • Your bear mobile


  • Car rides
  • When brother loves you a little too hard


  • Dec (pronounced: Deck)
  • Dex
  • Deckles
  • Deckle Dec
  • Declanation
  • Triple B (Daddy can explain that one to you)
  • Trip

Edit: I had to add Declan's weight, which is just under 14 lbs, or the same size as Ez at FIVE MONTHS! It's not in my head, Declan really is growing faster.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Few Things I Want to Remember

Big changes are coming! We're moving tomorrow and all these changes have me feeling a little nostalgic. Joe and I were talking about how weird it is that Ez and Declan won't even remember living in So Cal, even though it's such a big part of our lives. It's the place where Joe and I met and fell in love. I spent both my pregnancies here and both Ez and Declan were born here. We've created so many great memories as a family. So you'll have to pardon all my sentimental rambling, but in the midst of throwing all our belongings into boxes, going through old photos, and packing up all Declan's newborn clothes (already??) I've put together a little list of things I want to remember from right here and now, before we grow and change and embark on this new and exciting chapter of our lives.
  • Declan's first smiles and how he chuckles to himself in his sleep.
  • Ez's Betty Boop curl above his right ear. He threw a huge fit while getting his haircut and the stylist was probably afraid she'd chop his ear off if she tried to trim it, and it kind of grew on me, so I left it.
  • Ez saying incomprehensible things in the loudest, most urgent and excited voice, then repeating it with equal intensity each time we ask him to repeat himself. I have no idea what he's saying half the time, but I love his enthusiasm.
  • Declan's brownish, grayish, bluish eyes, that will most probably turn brown, but are taking much longer than Ez's did.
  • The sweet snuggles Ez gives Declan and the brotherly concern he shows when Declan cries.
  • How Ez plays with his cars while narrating and singing to himself. I love his imagination so much.
  • Ez and Declan's super long lashes. So not fair!
  • Ez's excited gallop. His energy and joy for life is so infectious.
  • The way Declan's cries actually sound like "wah"!
  • Ez singing wheels on the bus with a huge emphasis every time he sings town:
  • Declan's baby squeaks and babbles. I can already tell he'll be a chatterbox.
Here's a choppy little video of some random cuteness that I want to remember:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


We've come a long way from this:

To this:

Sure, Declan still doesn't look all that impressed, but at least one of them is smiling ;)

The first week after we first brought Declan home from the hospital there were a lot of domino effect meltdowns going on over here. Ez would burst into tears whenever Declan cried, which was obviously a lot. Then Ez got used to the noise and would just continue on with his life and ignore Declan's cries, which was a huge improvement. But now Ez actually gets concerned whenever Declan's upset and he'll get right in Declan's face to smile and pat him on the back (something he's seen me do a million times) and give him kisses. This usually makes Declan cry harder, but the intention to cheer him up always makes me smile. 

In the beginning there was a lot of questioning on my part. I wondered how I'd be able to give Ez the attention he was used to without shortchanging Declan from getting the same amount of attention Ez got when he was a baby. I was setting myself up for failure because it's impossible to give them each 100% of my attention all of the time. The only way to save my sanity was to adjust my thinking. Ez is lucky to have gotten all that attention early on and Declan is lucky because he has such an amazing big bro looking out for him. So it may not all be equal but I think the family dynamics are balancing out and we're all settling into our new groove as a family of four. 

Ez shows so much compassion and sensitivity for a two year old. He's the best big brother and I know his love for Declan will continue to grow and grow. And eventually Declan will come around and reciprocate that love. I've already caught him throwing a few smiles his brother's way. Their budding brotherly bond makes my heart so full. And the best part about going from one to two? Twice the cuddes! These two are both major snugglers and I love it so much. Sitting on the couch with both my boys piled on my lap is the absolute best part of this season of our lives. 

I am so excited to continue to watch their friendship grow. I know I can count on Ez to look out for his brother out and one day Declan will have Ez's back too. And I hope they keep these snuggles up well after they both outweigh me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Our Weekend: Saying Goodbye & The Fair

On Friday night we had dinner with Joe's mom and her husband. We hadn't seen them since before our trip up north, so Declan was like a completely new baby, all alert and chubby. 

We fit in some more family time on Saturday afternoon at my aunt's house. Pizza, margaritas, tag, and cars = something for everyone. 

On Sunday we braved the heat and went to the last day of the OC Fair. One of my summer bucket list items was to get a caricature done at the fair, but sadly the OC fair doesn't do caricatures like the LA one. And the LA fair doesn't open till September, after we move. So I convinced Joe we'll just have to go get one drawn at Disneyland before we go. Darn!

One cool thing about the OC Fair is that Robert Marble had a booth, and I've been obsessed with his animal paintings ever since I saw one on Storage Wars. Such a cool coincidence. We bought two as early housewarming gifts to ourselves.

Declan and Ez pretty much alternated napping the whole time we were there, so we called it a day after a few hours (and a donut sundae).

Back home we got to work packing up all our stuff. It's kinda crazy how many boxes are devoted just to pictures, books, and DVDs. Five boxes packed and we haven't even started on the kitchen or bedrooms. For as much as I move (14 homes in 14 years!), I've never moved this far, where EVERYTHING has to be packed up and on the moving truck all at once. Usually I can go back and forth and take the fragile stuff myself. So wish us luck! This is our lives for the rest of the week: 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ten Things I Love

I was tagged awhile back by Courtney at Sweet Turtle Soup to post ten things I love and ten things I hate. I love getting these random little glimpses into other bloggers lives, so here goes:

My loves:
1. My three boys. I live for their smiles and snuggles.
2. Watching the bond form between Ez and Declan. Can't wait to see the things these two will get into together once Declan is walking.
3. Skirts and dresses - they're comfy, cute, and forgiving.
4. Doughnuts. Possibly the reason why my maxi dresses are all that fit right now ;)
5. Face masks and skincare products. I'm seriously addicted.
6. Holidays! It's such a cozy time of year full of tons of family fun. Already looking forward to October through January.
7. Documenting everything family related - from taking a million photos, to making scrapbooks, to this blog, to memory boxes - I've got a strong need to document this time of our lives.
8. Tabloids. I know they're silly, but they make my time on the treadmill go so much faster.
9. Journals and notebooks. I can't stop collecting them.
10. Hummingbirds. I've got two tattoos and I think it's good luck to see a hummingbird. 

And here are ten things I'm not so crazy about:
1. Most Disney Jr. cartoons with their catchy stuck-in-your-head songs.
2. Meat. I haven't eaten it since 2006 and it just grosses me out.
3. When both my kids are crying at me at once. It makes me feel like I'm doing this parenthood thing all wrong.
4. Super long, hot summers. I'm not cut out for this desert climate.
5. Washing dishes and putting away laundry. It's neverending.
6. Diapers. Feels like an all day everyday event round here.
7. How spread out all my favorite people are. Wish they would just figure out that whole teleporting thing already so I could stop in for lunch with my family halfway around the world and be home by dinner.
8. Dieting. 'Nuf said.
9. The news. I hate seeing how awful people treat each other sometimes. It's too much for my mama heart to handle.
10. Waking up every few hours. I miss sleep and feeling like a fully functioning person.

I tag fellow new mama Amanda at Plum Tickled Pink, Chrissy at Simple Joys Blog, Emily at Raising Avery Mae, Ally at Our Journey to Lia Jill, and anyone else that wants to join in - what do you love and hate??

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Declan Tour

We're home! After two weeks of couch surfing and hotel hopping, we're looking forward to a day or two of staying in one place and not doing much of anything. To put it all in perspective, Declan has spent a third of his life away from home. And he changed so much in those two weeks. From squishy oblivious sleepy little newborn to alert, smily, cooing chubby little baby. Pretty crazy, huh? He saw so many new faces and met all kinds of family and friends who love him so much already. He is one lucky boy. And I'm one lucky mama to have all these hands ready to take over Declan duties so I can get a few things done (namely, eating a complete meal with two hands - pure luxury!). I know I sound like a broken record, but having all that help was just so amazing and I feel like I can't say thank you enough.

This is gonna be a short post because I don't have the brain power for much more, but here are a few of my favorite snaps of Declan meeting a handful of my favorite people. (He actually met even more people, but I didn't always remember to snap a pic.)

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Nomad Life

Do you ever feel like you just say no all day long? I hate hearing it come out of my mouth almost as much as Ez hates hearing it. Ez is handling our nomad life like a champ for the most part but the meltdowns have slowly been increasing daily. The great nightly teeth brushing battle, for example. I've completely given up on the idea of making it through a complete day without losing my patience. My new goal is just to replenish my patience quickly and move on. So while I don't have much advice for long term travel with a toddler, these are the tips that seem to help us. 

Pick my battles. I know this is old news and sounds obvious, but it's easy to sink into a routine of wrestling with your toddler over every little thing. And when I say you, I mean me. So lately I've been trying to say yes more. I've heard tales of parents that only say yes to their kids for a day. I'm pretty sure that idea wasn't meant for toddlers though. Obviously teeth brushing is non-negotiable. But for other things, like dawdling at breakfast or spending a little longer at the park, if Ez plants his feet and decides he's not leaving, I've been giving a five minute heads up, and then settling down to really enjoy those last five minutes before we head off to the next task. This hasn't eliminated meltdowns, but a lot of times Ez will happily move on. And that's a whole lot better than trying to transport a flailing angry toddler. 

One on one time. Declan and I have all kinds of built in time together because he nurses all day long, but getting time alone with Ez takes more effort. We're six weeks into this parents of two thing, and as I learn to adjust my expectations accordingly I'm figuring out that one on one time doesn't have to be elaborate. As much as I would love to spend an entire afternoon alone with Ez, for now a few minutes here and there makes a huge difference in Ez's attitude. Whether it's sitting on the ground doing puzzles for a few minutes while Declan naps or extra snuggles before bed. 

Keep some semblance of routine. Unfortunately our routine became pretty nonexistent late in my pregnancy, so I've had to improvise. We did bring a few familiar toys and movies, which has helped. What works for us is getting out of the house before naptime. Somewhere Ez can run around while I push Declan in his stroller. We like the park, the book store (with the toy trains), the mall playground, and the splash pad. As crazy as it feels to head out in public with two fussy kids, a change of scenery usually turns all of our cranky moods around. And if I'm really lucky they both fall asleep in the stroller. That's the stuff mom dreams are made of.

Ask for help. I've been lucky to have lots of help while we're visiting with family, and it has made all the difference in the world. Ez is sufficiently distracted and entertained which means I actually get to shower daily and blog every now and then. 

Embrace the chaos. Jump on the hotel bed. Eat extra dessert. Explore new parks. Crack open an ice cold beer for no good reason (this one's for the parents). Even though we're not technically on vacation, we may as well embrace being away from home and live it up.

Take it from Frozen and Let it Go. Buttons get pressed. Tantrums get thrown. Patience gets lost. Just move on quickly and laugh about the craziness. If you need help laughing about parenthood just look up Jim Gaffigan or Louis CK. They totally get that toddlers are crazy (lovable, but still crazy) and it's always nice to know you're not alone. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

MIA - Big News

This blog has been a little neglected lately. The natural assumption would be that life with a newborn and toddler is crazy, and that's completely true. But we're adding to the craziness even more by planning for a big move in the next few months. Joe got a job offer that was too good of an opportunity to pass up, so we'll be moving to the Bay Area soon. It's an area we've always loved and considered moving to, so we're really excited about these changes, but we're also sad about the friends and family we won't be near anymore. 

In case you're keeping track, this will be Ez's 4th home in just over two years. Thankfully that kid is a trooper and he handles change really well. I've been so impressed with him this past week as we shuffle back and forth between my parent's house and hotels while Joe travels all over the place for work.

I'm also super grateful to my family for making my life much easier while Joe's away. I don't want to be overly dramatic and say there's no way I could've handled these two on my own, but I'm pretty sure we'd be hanging on by a thread. At the very least none of us would've slept the past week and we'd be limited to eating food that comes in wrappers. They've done so much for us, from entertaining Ez, calming Declan, changing diapers, babysitting while Joe and I house hunt, cooking, laundry...the list goes on and on. 

So while we're all looking forward to getting settled and into a new routine, for now I'm choosing to ignore the chaos as much as possible and soak up all this extra family time. Here are a few snaps from our visit: