late 20s

birthday breakfast date with Justin and Pippa.
I've been craving Perkins breakfast potatoes since I got pregnant.

I'm no longer in my mid-20s.

Yesterday marked the 27th anniversary of my entrance to this world. I wondered how I would feel, entering the brief period of life known as one's "late-20s." Would I lament my fleeting youth? Would I take stock of how far I had come? Would I make a panicky "30 before 30" bucket list?

Actually, I mainly just felt nauseous. But not about the passing of time. I felt actual nausea due to morning (or all day) sickness. (Thanks, Baby #2). But really, I'm not even mad about it.

Despite the morning sickness, how I felt about my 27th birthday reflected how I view my life in general. I was content to spend the day with my husband and 19 month old...mostly on the couch. I was thankful for the little things Justin did for me (woo hoo! I don't think I changed one diaper on my birthday! I felt like the Queen of Sheba.)

But let's get really serious. Why am I really so happy about my 27th birthday? In reality, it's because I love odd numbers, and yesterday was the 11th of January, in the year 2015, turning 27 years of age. It's my year, people! Watch out!

Here's to 27 years of His grace on earth, and at least 73 more!


the secret's out!

...although it probably was never really a secret to begin with.

It's true! We get to be parents again!

And I have a lot to say about it. 12 weeks of keeping this "secret" and I couldn't wait to start talking about it.

a few initial thoughts:

1. It's not really a secret. As any young married wife knows, your midsection, health, and alcohol consumption habits are under constant scrutiny from well-meaning friends, relatives, and mere acquaintances for signs of baby news. Any headache is responded to with a knowing wink. Passing up on a glass of wine means several follow-up questions, such as, "when are you due?" And don't you dare gain weight in your face or midsection, lest you start rumors of a baby! (By the way, I'm guilty of this, too. It's human nature to want that joyful news for the loved ones in your life). Anyway, I know I can often guess when another woman is pregnant, even before they start showing, so I'm sure many have guessed or figured out our secret long before we heard the heartbeat. I got "pregnancy face" (that bloating in the chin area? attractive.) pretty early on. Not to mention having such a short torso, and I'm pretty sure I was "showing" at about 7 weeks along.

2. Part of me wanted to keep it a secret, but most of me just wanted people to know already! As with my pregnancy with Pippa, I have pretty rough morning sickness, extreme exhaustion, and awful headaches. I just wanted to be able to tell people why I didn't feel up to my normal tasks or even meeting up for coffee.
More importantly, though, there is an unwritten rule in our society that you don't share your news until it is "safe" to do so - around 12 weeks. But I'm of the opinion that (a) whether or not something happens to baby, it's still my child, and it's still a human life, and (b) I would want prayers and support from those I love if the worst did happen. Each person is different, and I was comfortable enough to share it with friends and family early on, just not the general public (probably due to my introverted nature). Glad it's out now, though!

3. The second (and I'm assuming subsequent) time around, you start showing a lot earlier. Oh hey, mirror reflection! Is that a 24 weeks pregnant lady? No? Just 12 weeks? Cool. (that awkward stage when regular clothes don't quite fit right, but maternity clothes are too baggy).

4. Pippa came with me on Monday to hear the heartbeat, and ever since has been lifting up my shirt asking, "Baby, where are you?" Yesterday, she lifted up my shirt and kissed the baby (my stomach), then made Pablo do the same thing. Today, she fed her pancakes to the baby (my stomach), and threw a fit when I told her she had to eat them. I'm kind of amazed that she's starting to understand, but also terrified of the day she will expose my pregnant belly to the general public. Also, she now runs to the bathroom and makes throwing up noises - just like mommy! Charming.

5. There is no joy equal to hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time. Did I cry on the way home? Maybe. Blame it on the hormones.

6. Pippa was generally an easy baby, and is so much fun right now, I kind of forgot about all the hard stuff about pregnancy and newborns. That's ok! Just like the first time around, I don't want to know about it until it's happening. Ignorance is bliss.

7. I am finding the first trimester easier as a stay-at-home mom with a toddler than when I was working full time. At least I can lay on the couch and put Curious George on Netflix for Pippa. And take a nap when Pippa naps. It's much harder to get up super early, dress like a professional and do your hair and makeup while wanting to throw up, be on your feet all day when you just want to sleep, and stay on top of your work when you're operating at the capacity of a person with a three-month stomach bug. Props to working ladies in their first trimester! (I remember Googling "How do women work in first trimester?" when pregnant with Pippa).

8. This pregnancy is no less exciting than our first. I thank God for giving us another chance to do this - his goodness, mercy, and love are boundless!


a pipdate - 19 months

Having a little girl is everything I expected it to be, and nothing like I expected to be at the same time. I get to put together cute outfits with matching bows, she plays with and takes care of her baby dolls, and she copies everything I do, including putting on makeup, doing my hair, and wearing jewelry.

BUT, she is anything but demure and ladylike. She is hilarious, strong-willed, and cheeky. She spends large chunks of her day running around the couch in circles. She loves to play ball, climb, jump, yell, and wrestle. In other words, she is so much fun!

toddler idiosyncrasies:

  • she now introduces me, then herself, to everyone at the grocery store. Unfortunately, she pronounces her name as "Poopa."
    • P: Hi! 
    • Customer: Oh hi there! 
    • P: Mommy! (points to me)
    • C: Oh, that's your mommy?
    • P: Poopa. (points to herself)
    • C: .....?
    • Me: Oh, and this is Pippa.
    • C: Ohhhh. Hi Pippa!
  • also at the grocery store, a man with shoulder-length hair walked past our shopping cart. Pippa's eyes lit up, and then she yelled, "Bye Jesus!"
  • also at the grocery store with my mom, she started clutching the cart and yelling, "Help meeeee!" (a phrase one of my sisters taught her).
  • she likes to sing in church when everyone else is singing, and fold her hands when we're praying. She'll even yell, "Amen!" every now and then!
  • Pippa and I love to have dance parties when the days at home get kind of long. Her absolute favorites are Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, and Conga by Gloria Estefan. Kid's got moves!
  • against my better judgment as a parent, I let her watch the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch when we were at my parents' house for Christmas. She totally identified with the Grinch character, and spent the rest of our time there asking, "Jrinch, where are you?"
  • she loves raspberries and blueberries (or rasbies and bluebies)
  • sometimes puts herself down for a nap by asking for chupie (pacifier) and George (Curious George, her stuffed animal), then grabbing my hand and leading me to the stairs so I can put her in her crib.
  • after an episode of Curious George, she'll come up to me, hold up one finger, and say, "One mo'." That's really hard to say no to. 
  • when Justin makes a bad joke, she'll smile and go, "Daddy," in that exasperated tone of an embarrassed teenager. I thought she was just repeating what I said, but then she applied it to anyone who makes a bad joke.
  • she pronounces Granddad as "Gahn Gahn." 
  • for about 2 days straight she walked around saying, "Biko biko biko," and we had no idea what she was talking about. Finally Justin figured out she was saying ombligo - the Spanish word for belly button.
  • she reminds us to pray before every meal by folding her hands and looking sternly at us.
  • she has long conversations on her pretend phone (or anyone's iPhone she can get her hands on) with pauses to "listen" to the other person, responses, laughter, and "k bye!" at the end. Sometimes I wonder if she's actually hearing someone else on the other end...

We are enjoying her so much lately! Her cheesy smiles, her sweet hugs and kisses before bed, and how quickly she catches on to anything we teach her all make me want to slow down time and capture the memory of each day. She is so close to putting together novel sentences instead of just repeating memorized ones (like "where are you?") I can't wait to hear what she'll come up with next!


2015 mini goals

Happy New Year!

After spending the holidays and ringing in the New Year with family, it feels great to be typing this post on the way back to our own home. Our 18-month-old (almost 19-month-old!) is not the only one who needs to get back into a routine. Well-balanced meals, normal bedtimes, and everyday tasks are sounding pretty good at this point, after a week and a half of vacation. (One of the perks of being a teacher!)

On top of getting back to our normal routines, I look forward to implementing some additional New Years Resolutions in the form of mini goals each month. In the spirit of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, one of my sisters and I are designating themes for each month of the year. For me, each month will focus on 3 mini goals that fall under the auspices of that theme.

For example, as cliche as it may sound, January is focused on health and fitness. I am using the idea of mini goals - setting simple goals that are easy to implement. If your goal is one push-up, you may end up doing 10-15 push-ups while you’re down there anyway, and then may be inspired to do some ab workouts and mountain climbers, too! If your goal is 50 push-ups each day, it may seem too lofty when you’re having a bad day, or get really busy. When you fail to keep your resolution, it’s much easier to drop the goal altogether. With mini goals, it’s easy to overcome the mental resistance that says working out will take too long or is too difficult. Anyone can get on the floor and do one push up during a commercial break! You can always do more, but never less. Read more about mini goals in this article.

My mini goals for January:

  1. 5 minutes of a workout video Monday through Saturday. Some days, I may get through just the warm up. Other days I may end up completing 45 minutes. The point is, even if I don’t feel like working out, I can overcome my own objections since it’s just 5 minutes. 
  2. 10 minute walks with the dog each day. This may be abridged with dangerous below-zero temperatures, but barring days where there is danger of frostbite, I’m forcing myself to enjoy some nature, get my dog some exercise, and get myself moving. 
  3. Eat one serving of vegetables each day. This goal could even be too mini, as I start each day with 2 handfuls of spinach in my smoothie anyway. But besides that, it’s really easy for me to go through a whole day without touching a vegetable, though I do love to eat fruit. Time to put some special focus on new and simple ways to prepare veggies! 

By choosing to focus on health as part of my lifestyle instead of an impossible challenge to meet temporarily, I know I can stick with my goals without feeling overwhelmed. Making one good decision will lead to another healthy decision. I can’t wait to see if the idea of mini goals works well for me, and if it will inspire me to do more. 

Finally, I am thankful for the challenges and blessings God gave me in 2014, and look forward to starting 2015 with his grace. 2015 will hold a lot of adventure and changes for our family, so it’s comforting to have a God who is Everlasting to Everlasting, the same from year to year, who is with us no matter where we are.