Month: January 2016


Here are some updates on the M girls:

MG has come to embrace school a little bit more as we roll into the new year.  Capitalizing on this enthusiasm, I tried to introduce the concept of Kindergarten next year.  She immediately balked at the idea of going to school every day?? and wondered who her teacher would be.

Her favorite pastime lately has been to cut.  She cuts like her father too, her mouth opening and closing in sync with each hand squeeze. She will often come find me about 45 minutes into naptime with a stack of looseleaf and an assortment of drawing utensils.  “Ok, I really need you to draw coronation Anna first,” and then she’ll pause a moment, gauging my reaction, “and then I need you to draw Elsa in her nightgown.”  Satisfied with my acquiescence, she hastily throws in, “and Tiana in her ballgown.  But THAT’s IT….for now”.

I draw the princesses for her, one per page; she sometimes adding comments about my skills or reminding me to add shoes, “high heels, please”.  Once, I got a little hasty with Rapunzel’s eyes and they were looking a bit Heaven-ward.  “Rapnuzel looks like she has crazy eyes!”, was her assessment.   When I didn’t acknowledge my failings, she said, “oh well, ‘we’ can just turn it over and draw Belle on the back instead.”

Somehow, she understands that she is obligating me during my precious alone time, but she also seems to understand that part of my reluctance is just for show.  We smile knowingly at each other during these exchanges.  She gets me, that one.

After I draw her requested princesses, she attempts to rope me into coloring them in.  She stands over my shoulder, breathes down my neck, “Use yellow here.”  “She doesn’t have brown hair, she has BLACK hair!”  Sometimes I can convince her to help me with the coloring part too, but not always. “It won’t take you very long.” she presses.

Next she will take these drawings into her little sanctuary of a room and cut them out.  She will cut quickly but carefully around the edges, making sure to preserve the small details like fingers and hair buns.

When I go up to her room later, I will find the floppy princesses scattered around in a delicate play.

When I was just a little bit older than her, I would draw and cut out pretend hamsters to play with because I wanted a pet one really badly.  I get her too.

Bea has always loved to draw and lately has been trying really hard to hold the pencil correctly.  It warms my heart to see her draw and eat with her left hand, a small homage to her aunt and granny.

She has been cutting her final molars and has been a bit sensitive lately as a result.  This is as close to moody as she ever seems to teeter.  It still takes very little to whip her into a flurry of smiles and excitement.  I love that about her.  Even on her worst days, she’s just a tickle away from contagious giggles.

Lately, she has wanted to take the reigns from us in dressing herself, pottying, chores, anything really.  “No, I do it.” she says.  I love and greatly encourage independence in my girls, except of course, when we are running behind and she insists on putting on her socks at the speed of the elderly with arthritis.  It’s amazing the parallels between the young and the old, no?

Unlike her big sister, I don’t think she’s too thrilled about our upcoming May excitement.  This is the reaction I get every time I ask her:


I’m sure she’ll come around in time…right, middle children of the world?

Speaking of Mayby2, I visited the doctor yesterday for my 5 month checkup.  It was a quick and easy appointment.  Once again, it took a little while to find the heartbeat, which is becoming a common theme with this one, but I could feel her moving during the search, so I wasn’t too worried.  Heartbeat sounded good at 151 and my stomach is no longer measuring a full week ahead, just a half week now.  This still lines up with my earlier due date prediction but not quite as much as I was hoping for.  Third children are notoriously unpredictable, no?



Sweet Corn

Time for a bumpdate as I have officially grown past 5 months and have now moved into my 25th week.


(here is my 22 week update with Bea right around the same time)

Month five has meant feeling great, all things considered.  The baby is now the size of….an ear of corn?   If pregnancy enjoyment was a bell curve, month five has to be the middle arc.  I’m way beyond the misery of tri 1, but just about to hit the downward slope of large and uncomfortable.

Just a few precursors to that stage have started to hit this month like the tossing and turning to find a (safe) sleep position and the slight –urpiness– of bending over or leaning forward too suddenly.  I’ve also gotten at least one good kick to the stomach that sent food back up into my mouth–bleh.


This pic cracks me up because it shows the difference an angle makes.  With all three girls, I’ve carried high and wide and always seem to expand in both directions at the same time-ha!

Speaking of kicking, she is a pretty athletic little thing, twisting and moving around quite a bit. I love the reassurance of these kicks and also the milestone of reaching viability this week.  Sometimes she jabs me so hard, I can see it from the outside.  N has been able to feel her kicking and has been quite impressed.  MG has been kicked a few times, too, but hasn’t been able to recognize it.  A good impression of her expectation level is coming up out of the blue and pressing her hands deep into my belly for approximately two seconds before declaring, “I can’t feel her moving!”.  Or she lifts up my shirt and talks/yells to the baby through my bellybutton.  “Do you think she can hear me?  I can’t hear her!”

Cravings have been next to nothing but my appetite for home cooked food has improved and I am making some pretty satisfying dishes in the kitchen (think creamy, hearty, comfort food). Just like my last two pregnancies, I am greatly enjoying citrus fruit this winter and also keep a bag of sour candy on hand for when I randomly get weird tastes in my mouth.

My to-do list for this baby is probably the shortest yet and mostly involves prepping the girls, the house, and my hobbies for her arrival (i.e. get both girls sleeping well in the big bed and finish the 2015 scrapbook).  I’ve been having fun, as I mentioned, with my sewing machine and snap setter and have been making a few gowns and newborn outfits while I’m in this sewing stride.

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The “M” is for our last name, the other initials have been covered up, for now :).  I love newborn gowns for easy diaper changes and these knotted ones will keep little toes and frog legs warm throughout the night.


My snap setter is SO FUN and easier to use than I imagined.  I purchased it from here.  It definitely helps my baby/toddler clothes making skills as I was previously sewing in snaps or buttons (I HATE sewing button holes!).  Also, I had to cover up her name on the first outfit 😉


I also wanted to make some paci clips since I received the end pieces free with my snap setter.  The leopard one is a leather and the other two are made from teething-friendly silicone beads (the giraffe is a silicone teether too).  There’s nothing like a new pregnancy to inspire some creative notions 🙂

Everyone warned me this would happen but this pregnancy has gone by incredibly fast.  I am in disbelief that we are already past the five month mark and that I have already spent more time being pregnant than I have left!  Right before we got pregnant, I prepared myself for this to be the last one and as I went through the morning sickness/fatigue/baby blues, I was more sure than ever that I wouldn’t be doing this again.  Now that I’m feeling better, I’m starting to entertain the idea of a fourth, but I think it may just be sentimentality.  The funny thing is, in the beginning N was wanting a fourth but now we have flip-flopped and he’s saying he thinks this will be our last.  Either way, I’m going to try to enjoy every kick, every daydream that brings a smile to my face, every ounce of anticipation for this new life that I can.  Four months is going to be here in a blink.


P.S. I’ve been writing pregnancy updates as well on my Instagram page that is solely for this pregnancy. If you want to follow along, join me here.


January is…

Watching the minutes of daylight inch past 6pm and rejoicing with each gain.

Spending days in a row not stepping beyond your front door and feeling fine about it.

Staying up to read a good book and still going to bed by 10pm.

Feeling a little sad whenever you see remnants of Christmas decor.

Craving soups and chilis, oatmeal and grilled cheese.

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I highly recommend this one. It’s dairy free for all of you doing a Whole30 or JanPaleo but still creamy and delicious.  I humbly suggest only using a quarter of ONE onion, the canned coconut milk (not almond), and having a small can of tomato paste on hand to thicken it up if you like (I did).  

Feeling like spring is around the corner when it hits 40 degrees.

A little self-talk required to get the mail, mind over matter when your feet hit the pavement.

Not understanding the hype of the SuperBowl but eager for something to celebrate.

Letting Downton Abbey chase away the Sunday night blues.


Watching the norovirus take down friend after friend and praying you’re not next.

Wanting to go to the one thing that starts at 7 but then 6:45 rolls around and you can’t stand to leave the light and warmth of your house.

Is planning out the perfect vacation down to the “I’m sure we could totally bring a newborn to Hawaii” mantra.  It’s all a fantasy but it carries you for a few hours.

What is February?  February is January x 28, actually 29 this year.


Home Days

This year, as I’ve mentioned before, MG has school two days a week which involve waking up before any of us are ready, rushing through the morning routine of breakfast, dressing, and detailing; all the while I  feel like a constant time minder, chirping “hurry up”, “do this next thing”, “let’s go”.
The three days she doesn’t have school, we have a more relaxed morning, but I do like to go to the gym 1 or 2 of those days, and also schedule play dates and office appointments, which means we are once again leaving the house in pursuit of something.

That leaves only one or two days a week where we don’t have somewhere to be.  Seeing that kindergarten is just around the corner, I’ve made a conscientious effort to slow down on these open days before our lives are much more dictated by the school calendar.

Embracing this seeming descent to the end, I’ve taken to letting MG (loosely) decide the schedule for those days and I’ve learned so much about her by giving her this freedom.

Nine times out of ten, she chooses to have a “home day”. Her requests often suggest pajamas all day, a few minutes of shows, favorite books to be read, care-taking for her “babies”, a picnic lunch (of course denied in the winter), and some alone time in the afternoon while Bea sleeps.

That’s a schedule I can readily agree to, but for my own sanity, I always have some sort of “sub plans” if I feel the game of “baby” lingers on just a little too long, or I can no longer stand to read the same book for the fourth time that morning, or I feel the words, “I’m bored”, on the verge of little lips.

Last week that hat trick was blueberry muffins, the week before it was play-doh princesses, and this week it was manicures.

Giving MG this freedom to choose taught me that she’s a homebody, that she prefers pajamas to clothes,  and that she still wants me to give her some direction with how to spend her time.  But I’m also learning more about Bea by spending this more dedicated time with both of them.

In the past few months, we’ve watched our baby become a shadow of her sister.  Still fierce and independent, sure, but when it comes to new situations, she turns to MG as her teacher and then carefully models her behavior.

When I asked the girls this week if they would like me to paint their nails, MG said yes enthusiastically; while Bea watched MG’s response first and then carefully nodded her head too, I’m sure not really knowing what she was agreeing to.

MG led the way to the bathroom and then sat on the step stool while she waited for me to supply the paint.  Bea fussed as she tried to also find room on the stool for her bottom, not sure if there was an alternative.

MG picked out one color for her toes and a different one for her hands.  Bea watched her decide and then chose something similar but slightly different.

I told MG to fan her toes out while I worked on them first; Bea carefully mimicked MG, then  withdrew when she realized it wasn’t her turn, and then carefully arranged them again just so when I turned her way.

If I asked MG a question, Bea repeated the answer before I could ask.  Just like a pole-parrot, it was coming out instinctively.  Not in an effort to define, but an effort to learn.

It’s in these times, when something is new and foreign, I realize how much learning Bea does from her older sister.  It’s not me she is seeking to imitate, but her older sister to whom she gives her full attention.

In twenty years, I presume I won’t remember much about these “home days”, other than what I can find in my brief notes about them.  If that’s the case, then I want to remember the background noise of the washing machine, which seems like it is eternally churning through it’s cycles on these days.  I want to remember the feel of little bodies trying to climb on my person during a story, the peachy scent of their hair close enough to taste.  The smell of the crock pot promising an easy dinner. The relative silence of hungry mouths appreciating a good lunch. The way stretching  limbs and wayward elbows feel from the inside of me, reminding me that she, too, is already a part of our days.  The way a little sister, soon to be a big sister, looks to her older sister in moments of question. 

 And I know I don’t have to write this one down because I will surely remember, that these were great days indeed.


2015 Favorite Things

Typing out a Favorite Things list is not something new for me, see for example: (2014, 2013, 2012)  So in the spirit of tradition, I present to you (in no particular order), my favorite things from 2015:

My Steam Mop: I put this purchase off for (too many) years, hearing negative reviews of people spending a lot of money only to end up with lemons.  Finally,  one day on a (perhaps nesting inspired) whim, I threw out my old, broken mop and ordered this one.  For what it’s worth, it does get pretty good reviews on Amazon and if my review adds any weight to your decision, I love it.  Over the years I’ve been gradually switching my family away from as many chemical cleaners as possible and so this received extra points for killing germs simply with steam.  The only thing I would change about it is the cord, which is too short, difficult to roll up, and just overall annoying.  Other than that, it won me over. The proof is in the filthy mop head I throw in the wash each week.

steam mop

(pic via Amazon)

Amazon Prime Photo: This is a free cloud storage app for all of your photos and videos for Prime members.  So far I am loving it.  It takes up little space on my phone and I’ve had a better success rate with it than iCloud.  Get yours in the app store.


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Unisom: I think this little OTC sleep aid has earned its rightful spot on my 2015 favorite things list.  During the first tri, my morning sickness raged the worst at night and 1/2-1 blue tab helped me to sleep it off successfuly.  Those of you who need something during the day, talk to your Dr. about Diclegis.


(pic via

Digize: I wouldn’t consider myself fully on the essential oils bandwagon, yet, but if there is a problem that I am reluctant to treat with medicine or something that doesn’t necessarily call for medicine, I am willing to give them a trial run.  If I could chose only one oil to have in my cabinet, this one would be it.  Stomach bugs terrify me. I used this on the girls every time they complained of any kind of stomach trouble, and each time I felt like it worked (placebo, maybe, but it gave me peace of mind that I was doing something)


(pic via

Sewing Machine: I would probably characterize 2015 as the year I finally learned my way around my sewing machine.  Early 2015, I replaced my first sewing machine with my current one and have been so very happy.  Right now sewing has become my creative outlet.  When the mornings are busy, stressful, or even just boring, I dream about my afternoon sewing projects and what new things I can create.  It gives me a creative purpose and a way to express myself that is extremely satisfying.  2015 was not a friend to my serger, BUT, as of just recently I think we’ve made up.  And I’m hoping it lasts.  I also added a Scan N Cut to my creative mine, but truthfully, I haven’t been as happy with it as I imagined (perhaps most of this is the fault of the user).  I hope to be re-inspired by it this year.


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Clarisonic: I actually purchased this facial brush a few years ago, but found it irritated my skin and put it away after a few uses.  I was re-inspired to use it  again several months ago and brushed past my irritation to really smooth skin. Now I use it religiously, morning and night, and love the results.  I only wish I had gotten the hang of it sooner.


(pic via Amazon)

Kindle: I was gifted a hand-me-down Kindle late last summer and fell in love.  I don’t know why I dragged my feet on them for so long.  The best part is the instant gratification of checking out ebooks from the library, especially when they are the hard to come across tangible ones.


(pic via Amazon)

Looking back on the past two years,  I wrote my list with a heavy focus on the arts: music, literature, and theater.  I read a ton of books this year, but I decided I can’t highly, highly recommend any of them for various reasons.  However, if you need a light beach read, I’m your gal.

Our movie selection was limited, and we decided we were okay with that this year too.  I think we’ve discovered that we are more documentary/shorter shows and less 2-3 hour movie types in this stage of life.

My music selections didn’t really change, well at all, since last year.  I still listen to podcasts when I exercise, clean, and sew, but with a few exceptions, those are roughly unchanged since last year as well.

As far as favorite experiences of 2015, topping the list would be the (unexpected) magic of Disneyland and N and I’s anniversary trip to LA.  The older I get, the more I find what they say is true: you won’t remember what presents you received, but your memories of experiences will always stay with you.

More experiencing and less gifting in 2016,



The Christmas items have been packed away and the confetti has been swept up. Our holidays are over, but I’m not too sad. 2016 promises to be an exciting year, and I wait eagerly to see if it lives up to our hopeful expectations.
But before I go charging ahead, I want to take some time to remember 2015.  

   2015 was the year of winter therapy in California, of dance class for our tiny ballerina, of (finally) adding some finishing touches to our schoolhouse, of spring break in CA, of Disneyland, of teaching a Coffee and Canvas class for mops, of a sister birthday party, of kittens and chicks, of art class and swim lessons at TU, of celebrating 9 years in LA, of traveling to Chattanooga and Salt Lake City, of starting preschool, of a princess Halloween, of saying goodbye to the matriarch and patriarch of the W family, of closing the doors to Sweet Mama Makes, of Silent Night at TU, and of my favorite memory of all…finding out Mayby2, a healthy girl, would be joining our family soon. 

Yesterday, n and I were blessed with a little time alone to eat lunch and run errands. Of course the topic of new year’s resolutions came up and he has some pretty ambitious ones, in contrast to mine especially, which consist of the following:

Gain 15 (more) pounds, sleep more (nap whenever possible), read more (parenting books), kiss more (baby cheeks), travel (as little as possible), have a baby (and make it to the hospital in time #hourdrive)

Yes, my goals feel a little underwhelming this year compared to years past, but I get the sense that’s just how it’s supposed to be this year.  “Let’s just survive and enjoy what we’re given”

Lately I’ve been feeling a quiet but weighty pressing on my soul of something Unknown coming in 2016.  I don’t know how else to describe it other than “Blank” but it’s there, demanding attention.  It could be a physical, spiritual, or emotional trial, or something else entirely.  But it’s pressed on me to watch, listen, pray vigilantly, trust, have faith. 

So that’s how I will move forward, expectantly, into 2016.  

Auld Lang syne, my dears,