BG3 (Fiona) Pregnancy Update!

Just now as I sat down to write this I realized I’m nearing the end of my 2nd trimester already (in about 2 weeks). The 1st trimester dragged on, this trimester flew by. I wonder how the 3rd will feel (I’m hoping for another fly-by). We shall see ūüôā

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Due Date: July¬†23, 2016 (nothing’s changed here)

How Far Along: 26 Weeks

Next Appointment: April 28th

Gender: GIRL!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Close to 20lbs now….It must be the lifting, right? Yes, all muscle and baby (that’s what I’ll keep telling myself…as I stuff my face with chocolate)

Exercise:¬†Still lifting but nearing the end sadly…doctor says no more than 20lbs once I hit 32 weeks (which means I wouldn’t be able to lift my own children soooo, we’ll see :)….)

Stretch Marks: No

Swelling: No

Maternity Clothes: Yep, all the maternity clothes.

Belly Button: About to pop

Sleep: Not terrible, could be better

Food Cravings: Lately, sweets. And still with the Indian food.

Food Aversions: Nothing anymore really.

Symptoms:¬†Lower back aches, leg cramps….meh.

Movement:¬†Yes! I feel her move quite a lot now. Loving it ūüôā

Labor Signs:¬†The occasional braxton hick. When I’m dehydrated and really active…but I’ve got it under control now for the most part.

What I Miss:¬†The ability to sneeze without peeing myself a little. And apparently coughing too hard may¬†also cause the peeing….sigh.

What I’m Loving:¬†Feeling the her move and seeing her little kicks and jabs from the outside too.

What I’m Looking Forward To:¬†Same as before- meeting her for the first time! Can’t wait to kiss her little cheeks ūüôā

Best Moment This Week:¬†I ate a lot of Indian food…that made me happy.

Words of Wisdom: Pregnancy hormones are not to be trusted.

Until next time, here’s another picture from her ultrasound back in February (cause I like looking at her pictures):


Our 1st Disneyland Trip: Part 1

If I don’t sit down and write this now, it won’t happen. And I need it to happen. This was a very special and memorable trip and I must document it in¬†as many ways possible ūüôā So I’ll recap it, share some photos/videos and some lessons learned/tips for future trips. Because I tend to ramble and I know most blog readers have a short attention span, I will probably break this up into several parts (with separate posts). Because there’s just SO much to share.

Let’s start with a history…

Going¬†to Disneyland wasn’t really on my radar until very recently. I always said to myself “maybe when the kids are much older so they remember/enjoy it more.” However, in February I took Gwen to see Frozen on Ice as a mommy/daughter date and early birthday present. Frozen is one of her favorite movies of all time (like 2397429 other little girls), so I figured she would enjoy this. And I wanted to see how she’d do at her first “show”. Well, to say she loved it would be an understatement.¬†Her face was lit up the whole time. She sang. She danced. She clapped at the appropriate times. She excitedly exclaimed “MOMMY, LOOK! IT’S _______!” (fill in the blank with every character she saw). I texted Ivor during the show and told him how much she was enjoying it and said something like “We are SO going to Disneyland!” Of course I wasn’t expecting to do it anytime soon, but then he responded with a comment about trying to book it before the baby comes. So let it be known, while I may have been the one to put the bug in his ear at that Frozen show, it was my husband who suggested actually going¬†before Baby #3 comes. So¬†of course, I ran with it ūüėČ

I then¬†started doing research, asking friends for advice, reading blogs, etc. about going¬†to Disneyland (where to stay, when to go, what rides to go on, where to eat etc.) Since we live in California, almost everyone we know who has kids ¬†has been there and it’s a very popular place to visit. So there is no shortage of Disneyland experts/veterans to seek advice from! We ended up booking it fairly last minute, during a peak time of year (spring break/Easter). I’m thankful we got a room at all, let alone at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels (places were selling out quickly during the dates we wanted, but we wanted to be able to go while Ivor’s mom was still here). While staying on property (at 1 of the 3 resort hotels) is definitely more expensive than staying off-property, we decided the convenience¬†was worth it for us right now. When you stay at one of those hotels you get the advantage of the “Extra Magic Hour” every day of your stay. That means you get into the park an hour before it’s open to the general public. The 2 parks (Disneyland Park and California Adventure) alternate which one has the magic hour each day. With 2 small kids (and a husband who LOATHES crowds), this was extremely appealing to us. Other advantages of staying on property is the convenience of the location- everything within walking distance, really nice pools, restaurants, etc. and that little bit of¬†“Disney magic” that each of the hotels have. I wanted to truly feel like I was on vacation and staying somewhere where everything is right there, helps me feel like I’m really on vacation. Maybe that’s just me. But I loved it! The Disneyland Hotel¬†is the one we stayed at.

Anyway, we stayed for 6 nights- but only purchased 3-day park hopper tickets. So we had 2 days of rest, which I highly recommend. 3 days in the park(s) was about perfect. ¬†We arrived on a Wednesday. We did Disneyland Park on the first day, Thursday (because it had the extra magic hour that day), California Adventure on the 2nd day- Friday, then had 2 rest days (Saturday and Sunday- which is when the park was probably more crowded) Then on Monday, our final day in the park,¬†we went to California Adventure first (for the magic hour) and then “hopped” over to Disneyland park for the rest of the day. Drove¬†home on Tuesday.

Here’s a quick breakdown/summary of each day (and by “quick” I probably mean “detailed”):

Day 1 (Disneyland Park): If I had to rate each day in the park, this was probably the worst. We didn’t get in line as early as we (my husband) wanted to, even for the magic hour- the line was already crazy long when we got there. So the crowds were there early, lines for rides had already started, blah blah whatever. Despite all of that, Day 1 was always going to be the “break-in/warming-up” day, no matter what. The kids have never¬†really been to any amusement park and have never seen characters up close and personal. So it¬†was a little overwhelming for both of them at first (understandably). It took Gwen some time to really get into the rides. And that’s ok. I expected that to happen. It was also really really hot, which didn’t help things. But we still managed to go on a decent amount of rides before noon, which is when we planned to go back to the hotel for lunch/naps. The ride highlights from this morning: the carousel (which ended up being Gwen’s absolute favorite) and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ride (very cool). We went on more rides obviously, but those were the best (most enjoyed by all). After lunch, naps (which didn’t actually happen, so let’s just call it a “rest” period) and dinner, we went back to the park for the Paint The Night parade and the Fireworks show, both of which kind of redeemed the whole day for me. Because they were AMAZING. We let the kids stay up and watch both of them, which was a little rough- but they were troopers. For¬†their first full day at the park for the first time ever, they were EXHAUSTED by that point. But it’s vacation…bedtime shmedtime.

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Day 2 (California Adventure):¬†Best day ever. We got in line early for the extra magic hour (and the lines weren’t nearly as long as they were at DP the day before), so we got in right at the start of it and went straight to Anna & Elsa. (I had planned out all of our stops in advance and knew exactly where they were in the park). There was hardly any line at all. We were maybe 3rd or 4th in line to meet them that day. Gwen was dressed as Elsa and she was SO excited but SO nervous. We walked into this royal room where they were meeting and greeting and there was a quiet “awe” sort of vibe¬†in the room. Like the feeling you get when seeing a bride right after she puts on her wedding dress for the first time on her wedding day. That’s the best way I can describe it. Obviously, I know Anna and Elsa aren’t real, but Gwen doesn’t. And it was magical to her. And so it was magical for me (and Ivor). I may have teared-up a bit (and I wasn’t the only adult in the room who did ;-). Gwen was really shy but gave them her Frozen sticker book that she made for them to sign. They were so good with her (and Ivor Baby too- who took to Anna right away). We didn’t feel rushed. They took their time talking to¬†her and taking pictures with us, etc. It was such a great way to start our day. I think that was the turning point moment for Gwen, and¬†she really started getting¬†into this whole “Disneyland” thing and wanted to go on rides and fully embrace all that the parks had to offer. The rest of the morning was just as wonderful. It wasn’t very crowded at all (compared to the other park) and we didn’t have to wait very long at all to go on all the rides we wanted to. Even the longest line¬†(for the Toy Story ride) moved quickly. Also, we got to meet Olaf that morning too. We may have actually been the first ones to meet him that day, there was no line at all. Poor Olaf lol. Anyway, Gwen was actually a little afraid of him up close but Ivor Baby LOOOOOVED him. He was full of smiles and giggles ūüôā Definitely the highlight for him I think. We saw the Frozen Sing-A-Long show¬†before, once again,¬†¬†heading back to the hotel for lunch and “rest”, and I think I finally showered after several days (highlight for me). We came back later in the afternoon for the Pixar Play Parade, went on the carousel a few more times (Gwen preferred the one in this park because it was¬†sea-themed with underwater sea creatures. She liked those better than the horses), checked out the Mad-T Party thing (cover band), then Ivor’s mom took Ivor Baby back to the hotel and the¬†3 of us (Gwen, Ivor and myself) headed to Cars¬†Land, went on more rides, then waited around for the World of Color show, which was also INCREDIBLE. Then back to the hotel for Zzzz’s….

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To be Continued…. because this is getting way too long….




BG3 (Fiona) Pregnancy Update!

We recently found out that little BG3 is a GIRL! Woohoo ūüôā It was fun watching her on the ultrasound. She was very active but not cooperative at times. The tech already saw the gender when she was doing her initial measurements and capturing the images, but when it came time to show mommy and daddy,¬†baby¬†was very modest…legs crossed, thighs closed lol….cause she’s a lady, after all. But we saw the girl¬†parts eventually. We’re thrilled for another sweet little girl to join our family. Miss Fiona Joy Griffiths is her name ūüôā

So, here’s the latest update (and if you missed the 1st one, you can read it here):

Due Date: July¬†23, 2016 (nothing’s changed here)

How Far Along: 19 Weeks

Next Appointment: March 10th

Gender: GIRL!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: About +10 lbs now (my appetite came back lol…and I’m lifting weights, so I’d like to think some of those lbs are from muscle)

Exercise: Yes! Now that I’m not miserable and puking all the time, I’ve started lifting weights with my husband, as I just mentioned. I’d like to start going for more walks too, especially now that the weather is getting nicer.

Stretch Marks: No

Swelling: No

Maternity Clothes: Yep, all the maternity clothes.

Belly Button: In, but changing shape a bit.

Sleep: What’s that? I have 2 toddlers.

Food Cravings: I can eat most things again which is wonderful. Still love my sweets and a good pizza. Newest craving though is Indian food.

Food Aversions:¬†Still not a big fan of chicken, but depends on how it’s prepared. Last night the hubby made a pesto chicken pasta and that was wonderful. I can also eat chicken in Indian food (like butter chicken for example), but chicken noodle soup? No thanks.

Symptoms:¬†Nausea/vomiting has subsided, but I’m still a crazy emotional mess, with acid reflux, fatigue, gas/bloating, various body aches, etc.

Movement:¬†Yes! I’ve been feeling the occasional little kick and jab for the past 2-3 weeks or so ūüôā

Labor Signs: Nope

What I Miss: The ability to sneeze without peeing myself a little.

What I’m Loving:¬†Feeling the baby move

What I’m Looking Forward To:¬†Her birth! Seeing what she looks like and what her little personality will be, how alike/different she’ll be from her big sister and brother, blue eyes or brown eyes, etc.

Best Moment This Week: Obviously finding out the gender and seeing her move all around on the ultrasound.

Words of Wisdom:¬†You’d think after this long I would’ve learned my lesson about Googling things. After the ultrasound I was concerned about what I THOUGHT looked like a very low fluid level (amniotic fluid) despite not being told that by anyone. Some of the images on the ultrasound just looked like Fiona’s poor face was right up against the placenta with little to no fluid in there. So I Googled it….bad idea. Turns out, I’m just a crazy person and everything was totally normal. GOOGLE IS THE ENEMY when you’re a concerned parent. (Yes, I know my husband works there). Just don’t do it, friends. Until you’ve heard something from your own doctor, you are NOT the expert…and neither are the people of the Interwebs. That is all.

Until next time, here’s Fiona saying “Hello from the inside!”


The big gender reveal for the kiddos (and everyone else when we posted it) ūüôā

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BG3 Pregnancy Update

If you haven’t heard the news yet- we’re expecting! Woo! I told the whole story and briefly mentioned what this pregnancy has been like so far, but of course I need to do the much more detailed, formal pregnancy survey, like a good blogger. So, here you go. Enjoy! (I hope I don’t discourage anyone from getting pregnant by reading this lol….it really is a beautiful thing, pregnancy…) ūüėČ

Due date: July 23, 2016
How far along:  13 weeks
Next appointment:  Feb. 11
Gender: ¬†Don’t know yet, will find out on Feb. 25
Total weight gain/loss:¬†¬†+3lbs so far (I lost some initially with all the vomiting and not wanting to eat anything….)
Exercise:¬†Does running to the bathroom count? If so, then regularly ūüôā
Stretch marks: No
Swelling: No
Maternity clothes:  Some, yes. Been showing basically since the day after conception.
Belly button:  In
Sleep:¬†Already starting to wake up for no good reason at about 4am..sometimes earlier. Sometimes it’s just to pee.
Food cravings:¬†Scones/pancakes/waffles. Pizza (thin crust, NY style only) – and I found a great little “hole in the wall” , by-the-slice joint¬†in San Jose. They’ll be seeing a lot of me in the coming months.
Food aversions: Everything other than what I mentioned above really. But especially chicken and vegetables. No, thank you.
Symptoms: ¬†Where do I start? Nausea and vomiting. Epic mood swings (and when it swings the wrong way, look out). All the emotions. The super-sniffer power- I can smell EVERYTHING…and it’s usually not a good thing. Changing poopy diapers? Yeah…not fun normally, but even worse when the smell is intensified x1000. Even harmless cooking smells in the kitchen…unless¬†it’s one of my cravings mentioned above, the smell will likely trigger the gag reflex. Other symptoms: fatigue, gas and bloating, heartburn, headaches, backaches, boob aches. etc. Basically every possible symptom.
Movement:¬†Well yes, but I can’t feel it yet.
Labor signs: No, thankfully.
What I miss:  All the wine.
What I’m loving:¬†¬†My husband baking, from scratch, anything my heart desires.
What I’m looking forward to: ¬†Less nausea, more energy, and the “glow” everyone talks about. FUN FACT: when you vomit forcefully enough, you can burst blood vessels, leaving little red dots all over your face/neck. So instead of the the pregnancy “glow” I’ve had the pregnancy leprosy. ¬†At least it fades after a few days…just in time for the¬†next vomiting episode to occur.
Best moment this week: Seeing BG3 on the ultrasound yesterday. He/she has transformed from a little bean, into a little human…complete with arms, hands, legs, feet, little toes, etc. Seeing those things just never gets old. He/she was also quite active and not very¬†cooperative…sounds about right ūüôā
Words of wisdom:¬†In all seriousness, pregnancy isn’t always a very glamorous or enjoyable experience (sometimes it is though…my pregnancy with Ivor Baby was a BREEZE compared to this). But¬†the goal of getting pregnant isn’t just to get pregnant. It’s to have an actual baby, add to your family and bring a new life into this world. That’s the end game. That’s what we’re looking forward to the most and what makes this all worth it. And since this is most likely going to be my last pregnancy, I am TRYING to savor all the good moments that I know I’ll never get to experience again. Like that first ultrasound and hearing the heartbeat for the very first time. Or when I can feel (and see) the baby moving inside me. And when my husband bakes me vanilla bean scones with a lemon glaze, just because I craved it ūüôā Those are the moments I’ll savor.


I’ll leave you with this image of a homemade ice cream sandwich that my husband made me recently (homemade ice cream, homemade chocolate chip cookies, sprinkled with powder sugar and chocolate drizzle). Be jealous ladies.


A Gwen Update

The name of my blog was inspired by my fierce little daughter, Gwen. It’s from the Shakespeare quote “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” As she’s getting older she lives up to the title¬†more and more ūüôā She’s doing and saying so many things lately that I don’t want to forget. So I’m going to take a moment and write down as many things as I can (though it really won’t scratch the surface) to sum up who she is at this moment.

I apologize now if the following seems very haphazard and random. We’re all sick with colds and I can’t formulate coherent thoughts.

Name: Gwendolyn Jane Griffiths

Age: 2.5

Favorite Foods: Berries, greek yogurt, bananas, apples, peanut butter, bread, avocados, cheese, black beans and rice- basically all things Mexican.

Favorite TV Shows/Movies: Daniel Tiger, Curious George, Super Why, Frozen, Tangled, Wreck It Ralph, Shrek, Sing-a-long Songs on Netflix

Things She Says (this is where it gets random):

“I got diapers for everyone!”- in the morning after she wakes up, she gets out of bed and gets diapers ready for when I come in. One for her, one for Ivor Baby (she’s not potty trained yet….we’re working on it)

“You’re so silly!”

“It’s so cute!”

“Gig girl bed!” – she’s now in a big girl bed, but confuses the “b” with a “g” most of the time

“Brush my teeth, wash my hands and SPIT!”- part of her bedtime routine, which isn’t¬†actually in that order, but that’s how she says it every night (Spit comes after brushing teeth, obviously)

Whenever she’s really upset about something but can’t quite find all the words to express it, she just yells “I NOT!” or “I DON’T!”…just getting across the point that she has very negative feelings about something. Usually with a pouty lip, on the verge of losing it.

“Hey! I need kisses and hugs”

“It goes… ::insert sound effect or animal sound:: ….like that, mommy”

“I do it all by myselfs!” (she’s very independent these days)

When I say “no” to her, sometimes she responds with “NO?!!”, like she can’t believe I just denied her.

This morning she asked me where something was and I said “I don’t know”, then she responded with “What do you mean you don’t know??”

Other things she does: 

Picks out her own clothes in the morning, before I even come into her room. And she has surprisingly good style- everything always matches!

Puts stuffed animals in the high chair- and buckles them in.

Sings and dances with her microphone.

Kicks the soccer ball around and plays catch (she’s got a great arm, but needs a lot work with the catching part)

Plays puzzle games on the tablet.

Voice searches on YouTube for her favorite song “Wet it Go” (“Let it Go”…from Frozen…)

WUVS everything. “I WUV the dentist”….”I WUV cheese!”….”I WUV those pants” ….and so on and so forth

Enjoys playing with friends at MOPS and church.

Her favorite part of every playground is the slide. Over and over and over…and over again, she slides.

She likes to brush her hair and FINALLY lets me “do” her hair (pigtails, braids, etc.) without a fight.

Right before bed, when giving daddy hugs and kisses, she apologizes for bad things she’s done, and/or thanks us for doing something she enjoyed doing that day. I have no idea where that¬†came from (we never really made her to do that as part of a nightly routine), but thank you Jesus!

She’s very much a leader and likes to tell people what to do. She’s passionate and feels very strongly about things. But she’s also a great encourager- which is a good¬†trait for a leader to have ūüôā

Don’t ever change, little fierce one!

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12-Month Update (Ivor Alan)

I’m a little behind on this post for several reasons. 1. I’m in denial that he’s a year old 2. We’ve been busy bees–just getting back from our trip to PA- and STILL catching up on laundry (we came home with more stuff than we left with!), editing photos from the wedding I shot, doing dishes, looking at potential houses to buy, etc. etc. And 3. Generally the monthly updates are positive and include all the fun new things he’s doing and how he’s growing, but he’s been struggling with a few things recently and I just haven’t felt like writing about it, until now.

The biggest issue we’ve had is his weight. Right around 10 months, my milk supply dipped big time. So I thought it’d be a good time to start weaning him. Well, weaning was not something he was AT ALL interested in. He refused a bottle, and a cup (and I tried 23947 kinds of cups), and wouldn’t drink anything, except from me. But again, mama’s milk was running low (and my attempt at weaning just made it worse). So for 2 months, he ate solid foods but¬†had very little to drink. I ¬†could tell he lost weight, and his doctor’s appointment confirmed it. He lost almost 3lbs between his 9 month and his 12 month check up ūüôĀ He hasn’t been ill, and he’s generally pretty happy and active. They did some blood work on him and everything came back normal, thankfully. So we’re pretty certain the weight loss is just from lack of calories (low milk supply and refusal to drink anything else). His pediatrician recommended we see a GI doctor too and THAT¬†doctor kinda scared the crap out of me. His pediatrician was concerned, but not too freaked out by it. The GI doctor, on the other hand, looked¬†at his¬†growth chart and emphasized how “terrible” the drop in weight is, how thin he looks, that she wants him tested for Celiac’s Disease, starts talking about using a feeding tube (as a last resort), recommended we see an occupational therapist to get him to drink from something and tell them it’s “urgent” so we don’t have to be on a waiting list, etc. “Terrible” “Feeding Tube” “Urgent”. Not words you want to hear at your baby’s doctor appointment! ¬†She even mentioned “emergency” too I believe (in the context of getting us into a¬†child’s clinic that usually has a long wait).

The GI doctor also gave us some PediaSure samples to try in the meantime though, to see if he’d drink that. Well, after a day or so…he did! Up until this point, the best luck I’d had getting him to drink anything¬†was either from a regular cup or a food pouch. So we started with PediaSure in a food pouch, and once that was successful, I tried an actual sippy cup (without the leak stopper, so he’d have more immediate results)- he fought it a bit at first, but a day later he drank from¬†it without a fight (and finished¬†it!) This is a miracle, people. He went a loooong time freaking out at the sight of bottle or cup, pushing it away and turning his head. So, this is huge. As soon as I see an improvement in his weight, I’m going to stop giving him¬†PediaSure though. Even now¬†I’m diluting it with regular milk, because it is so loaded with sugar and a million other ingredients. Ugh. I hate giving it to him. But I’m so so thankful that he’s finally given in and embraced the sippy cup and something other than breastmilk. He’s getting a lot more calories now. He goes back in for a weight check next week, so I hope to have some good news! Keep him in your prayers.

Developmentally, there a few things Gwen was doing by now that he’s not (not that I should compare of course). But part of me thinks it’s because of his weight and that he’s not quite strong enough yet- like pulling himself up to stand and walking along while holding furniture. He can stand on his own while holding onto something, but again, doesn’t pull himself up to get there and certainly hasn’t started to walk yet. He crawls all over the place though, feeds himself (finger foods), he’s quick and sneaky, and smiley and cuddly. As recent events have confirmed, he is indeed stubborn and resistant to change. It takes him awhile to get used to something new. While we were away in PA, I could tell he was uncomfortable and not quite himself in a new environment surrounded by new people, etc. He was extra clingy and fussy. But the day we got home (after a meal and diaper change) he was happy as a clam and crawled all over the living room, played with his toys, all while smiling and laughing. He was so happy to be home ūüôā

A year sure does fly by. It’s hard to believe that my little baby boy will soon be entering toddlerhood, right alongside his big sister.¬†His sister is a fire cracker,¬†full of life and energy,¬†and he brings a nice peaceful calm to the room (and to anyone who comes in contact with him). He can make you melt by laying his little head on your shoulder and letting out a happy sigh. Looking up at you with his big brown doe eyes, and flashing you the sweetest smile, complete with complimentary dimple. He has forever stolen my heart!

Happy 1 year Ivor Baby. We love you!

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11-Month Update (Ivor Alan)

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This guy is almost a year old. Seriously. How. Does. That. Happen?!

11 months. Here we go!

Temper. Like his sister, dude can throw a tantrum. This morning was the best (meaning worst, by far). I took the remote away from him, so he screamed, laid face-down on the floor and when I handed him something else to play with, he threw it across the room.

Eating like a teenage boy. He must be going through a growth spurt because no amount of food seems to satisfy him recently. At some point I just have to cut him off, and then he goes into a food coma with that “ughhhhh I ate too much…..why did you let me eat that much?!” look on his face.

Speaking of food, he does the sign for “all done” (except in the above scenario), but we’re still working on “more please”. His way of communicating “more” is by kicking his feet with a very excited look on his face and clicking his tongue.

He’s still nursing…but I’m really hoping to wean him soon. I actually tried¬†about 2 months ago but he is very resistant to change and refused. No bottle. No sippy cup. No formula. Just me. Sigh… We’re going to try again soon and when we do, it will probably be cold turkey. He shall be cut off completely from the boob. It’s time, little man.

He’s sleeping so much better, consistently (thank you Jesus!). He and Gwen both go to bed at 7pm and sleep until 6:30-7ish am. He fusses occasionally, but can quickly go back to sleep without needing me to go in and soothe. Huge difference from a few months ago!

Still mama’s boy and quite the cuddler.

Does really well in the church nursery and at MOPS (so I can get a break).

Well, let’s bring on the final month of his first year!

::quietly sobs::




Dear Gwendolyn

You are 2 years old today! I can hardly believe how much you’ve grown since March 23rd, 2013 when you first arrived and turned our worlds upside down. From the very beginning you’ve been a passionate, spirited little thing. As you’re getting older and leaving babyhood behind, that loud & fiery personality is coming out even more. It can be quite a challenge sometimes for me and Daddy to reign you in, but we never want that spark in you to go away. You’ll learn, we hope, to use that passion¬†for good someday and not evil ūüėČ But you have another side to you too, that’s sweet, caring, compassionate and polite.

You love your little brother and love to help me take care of him. You tell us¬†when he’s crying. You bounce him. You give¬†him his pacifier, and lots of hugs and kisses. You’re not a huge fan of sharing toys with him right now, but we’ll work on that. He is very lucky to have a big sister like you!

Speaking of hugs and kisses, you have made it your duty to ensure that Daddy always gives kisses to every member of our household before he leaves for work in the morning. “Ivor kisses!” “now, Mommy kisses!” “now, Gwen kisses!” and occasionally, “Mooltin (Milton, the cat) kisses!” Same at bedtime.

You’re going through a “helping” phase that I hope lasts a long time ūüôā You love to help me clean the floor after you throw food on it (sometimes on purpose, sometimes accidentally). You love to help me with laundry (handing me the clothes out of the laundry basket so I can fold them). You love¬†helping Daddy cook in the kitchen (homemade granola is your specialty). And recently, you’ve even tried undressing your brother so that you could help change his diaper. Thankfully, you were caught in time.

Whenever someone coughs or makes a loud noise of some sort, you always ask with concern, “okay mommy?” (“are you okay?)

You’ve become a backseat driver. “Whoa daddy, whoa!” “Careful¬†daddy, careful!”. I have no idea where you¬†got that from…………………

You have very good manners. Sometimes you need to be prompted, but most of the time you say “please” and “thank you” all on your own.

You still love food. It’s very rare that you won’t eat something. However,¬†the other day you¬†did try some sushi for the first time (not w/raw fish, it was a California roll and a Chicken Teriyaki Roll), but¬†you weren’t a big fan. You tried a few bites and then said “no fanks daddy, I don’t yike¬†it” in the sweetest little voice. It was adorable. You then asked for celery and bell peppers instead (!) We’ll never force you to eat something you don’t like, as long as you at least try it first. Thankfully, you like most things, so we lucked out on that one with you ūüôā

Speaking of your vocabulary and all the things you say, here are some of our favorites:

“Hmm lemme fink” while you place one finger on your chin.

“Oh yes! Great idea!”

“I poop everywhere!” ….at every single diaper change, whether you actually pooped or not.

“Fank you mommy, fank you daddy”

“Fank you God”


“Oh boy!!!”

“Meelk time!” (“meelk” = milk)

“My fav-a-wite cowor” about ALL the colors

“I jump in waah-er too-day”

“O-gain” (again)

“I kick a ball too-day?”

“Yay! I see ’em ah-fwiends!” (translation: Yay! I’m going to see my friends)

You love Daniel Tiger (borderline obsessed). Elmo. Puppies. Soccer. Playing with sticks and grass. Fishies and the ocean. Music (you memorize and sing along to songs, but you can sometimes get shy like mommy does when someone’s actually paying attention to you). You love to draw and color. You know the¬†alphabet and can count to 20 *almost* perfectly (the teens throw you off sometimes). You know basic shapes and colors and so much more. We are so amazed by how quickly you’ve learned those things and how much you continue to learn every day. You are an amazing little girl and we love you very much!

Happy 2nd birthday Gwen!


Daddy, Mommy and Ivor Baby (and Mooltin)

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9 Month Update (Ivor Alan)

I’m about a week late with this update (he officially turned 9 months on March 2nd). I also got really behind on his weekly photos. And that’s about how this past month has been. We’ve been battling colds, busy out and about, running errands, etc. But a lot sure has happened since his last update! Well, maybe not a lot…just 1¬†or 2 significant things.

Crawling! He’s a super fast army crawler, and occasionally he’ll crawl regular-style (on his knees), but still prefers army style. He transitions really well from crawling to sitting and is starting to show interest in pulling himself up to standing. He won’t actually try it…but I can see it in his eyes…he’s thinking about it. I am in NO rush. I had to reset my mind (and my living room) again once he became mobile. I can trust Gwen around certain things now, but little Ivor…not so much. Also, he’s like our cat in that he always finds himself right under our feet (or his sister’s)…he’s fast, and sneaky.

The other big thing this month (and this has been life changing for me)…he goes to bed at the same time as Gwen. You might be thinking, “why is this a big deal?” Well…because they share a room. And previous attempts at¬†putting them down at the same time were unsuccessful. If Gwen knew her brother was in the room, she assumed it was party time. And she’d just talk and laugh and play. Neither of them would go to sleep. And eventually little Ivor would get¬†annoyed and start screaming. And putting him down first never seemed like a good idea, because Gwen is way too loud and would wake¬†him up during her bedtime routine. So up until this point, Gwen would go to bed at 7pm, and little Ivor would just¬†hang out in his bouncy seat downstairs until he fell asleep. Then once I was confident Gwen was asleep, I’d sneak him up there and lay him down. But that got old. And he wasn’t sleeping well (he would wake up and get distracted being downstairs). So I determined that they were going to have the same bedtime (in the same room) and that they’d just have to adapt and get used to it. And after only a few days, they did! They might chat for a bit at first, but soon enough they both get quiet and drift off to sleep. I don’t know why I didn’t just stick out a little longer the first time I tried it.¬†It’s SO nice to just have them both up there together at the same time, and be downstairs alone (or alone with my husband).

Regarding sleep….we’re still not sleeping through the night. It happens occasionally, but not consistently. I’ve stopped nighttime nursing altogether though. So when he wakes up I just go in, put his pacifier back in his mouth, blankey by his face, then go back to bed. It’s quick most of the time…but still rough having my sleep interrupted a few times a night :-/

His stats at his 9-month checkup: 28 inches long, 19lbs.

Oh, and we started swim lessons (both for him and Gwen). We’re doing a beginner “parent and me” class. It’s very basic, just to get them comfortable in the water. “Parent and me” means that we’re the ones actually doing the exercises with them, not the instructor (they just tell us what to do). In the future they can get private lessons, but for now we thought it’d be fun (and more comfortable for them, mostly Gwen) if we did it with them. And this little guy LOVES it. He is so happy and content in the water and floats on his back like a pro. He loves splashing with his hands (which I already knew from bath-time), now we just have to work on kicking his feet. My little water baby ūüôā

Happy 9 months Ivor Baby! (what Gwen calls him). We love you!!

Ivor Alan 9 Month Photo copy


Hello 30, Let’s Be Friends

Well, the “dreaded” birthday has arrived. The one where people start celebrating the “x” anniversary of your 29th birthday. THIRTY. But I’m not dreading it. I’m embracing it. Maybe when I get closer to 40 I’ll start wishing I was younger. But for now, thirty is a good age and I’m happy with it (…not that I can do anything about it anyway).

The close¬†of my 20’s, however, is bittersweet. A lot of really amazing things happened in my life during¬†my 20’s.¬†Here are the highlights (and a few lowlights). These experiences have built character and shaped me into the person I am today. Without further ado, a look back at the last decade…(brace yourselves, it’s a long one).

*Missions trips. My first one was to Chile in 2006. It was a construction project. First¬†time out of the country. First plane ride ever. And the start of a major spiritual growth spurt. Also, spending New Years Eve on the beach at Vi√Īa del Mar watching fireworks over the ocean was a pretty memorable way to kick it off ūüôā

*Other missions trips: Louisiana with PBU for¬†Hurricane Katrina relief (2006). A sports camp in Holland (2006). Kentucky for a VBS type of program¬†(2007). And the last one, Guatemala “vision” trip (2008). I think everyone at some point should go on trips like these. They are life-changing, perspective-changing experiences. You go there on a mission to serve and help the people you’re visiting, hoping you make a difference in their lives. But you never expect just how much the experience is going to affect you too (in a positive way).

*Transfer from Temple University to Philadelphia Biblical University¬†(now Cairn University). From a major in Journalism and Theater to a major in Biblical Studies and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain that acronym to people. It’s a thing. I swear.

*CLC.¬†Where I met my best friends and have a lot of great memories (small groups, True Life, sleepover at Sarah’s, etc.)

*Speaking of best friends, living on my own with them right after college, before we all got married,¬†is one of highest of¬†all¬†the highlights. “The good ole’ days” as they say, at 614 Central Ave.

*YABS at the Trumbore’s (young adult bible study). Amazing group of people. Learned¬†so much more about the Bible (specifically the book of Ephesians, which we spent a year on), God, grace, love, and my own depravity. Aside: I wish there were more YABS in the world. Since we haven’t found one yet in CA….we’ll just start our own¬†ūüôā

*Had my heart broken (count them) 1, 2, 3, 4 times in a row before finally meeting my husband when I was 24. This included¬†1 dramatic 3-year case of unrequited love that ended with a journal/picture burning ceremony (yes, really). 1 case of “oh, I’m sorry I gave you the wrong impression…I just want to be friends” (after he showed up on my doorstep with flowers and took me on actual dates). 1 case of “what the heck was I thinking, he’s was¬†terrible for me” but I didn’t realize it until after he broke up with me. And 1 case of meeting a soldier online who was stationed in Afghanistan; after writing to each other¬†every day for 9 months, we finally¬†met in¬†person when he got back to the states. He kept postponing the meet-up for awhile. But eventually it did happen. He acted¬†awkward and uncomfortable. Pretty sure I got¬†the “bad date call” and the evening ended quickly. I didn’t hear from him for awhile after that. Turns out…..he had a girlfriend.

So yeah…

*I almost up and moved to Colorado after that (seriously, I started networking and job searching), but then I met this new guy at church with a weird¬†name. He was quite handsome. ¬†He swept me off my feet, proposed and married me within a year ūüôā Fifth time’s a charm! We got married on July 17, 2010. Also one of the highest of all highlights and the start of one great big adventure!

*We spent the first year of marriage living in a house in a constant state of construction. I did dishes in our bathtub, and we cooked all our meals in a crockpot, microwave or on a griddle, in our bedroom. Going from the first floor to the third floor (which was the only finished floor in the whole house) required risking life and limb. We can survive anything after that!

*Then Ivor got a job offer at GOOGLE. He applied to a position at the NYC office, but was asked to interview for¬†one at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA instead. We never thought he’d get it. But¬†then he did. It was a difficult decision (making a massive move across the country and leaving all our friends and family), but a no-brainer at the same time. We couldn’t pass up that opportunity.

*We moved to California in July of 2011. I started a temp job at a law firm in downtown San Francisco (who was I???) before getting an awesome job in the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University (that job was much more “me”). I do miss it there.

*Got pregnant but miscarried in April 2012. One of the hardest things I’ve ever gone though¬†(makes those 4 heartbreaks look like a stubbed toe). But I got¬†pregnant again in July 2012 and Gwen was born on 3/23/13. I became a mommy!

*Left my job at Stanford after she was born to start a new one: SAHM/WFHM.

*SURPRISE! Got pregnant again in the same year. Little Ivor was born on 6/2/14. We became a family of 4, very quickly. And I was basically pregnant for 2 years…

And that brings us to today.

I do love my life. I have so many great experiences and memories to look back on (and crappy ones that I’ve learned from). I’ve had my legalistic goody-goody phase. My “let’s see how close to the edge I can get without falling off” rebellious phase…which really wasn’t all that rebellious now that I look back on it.¬†I took way too many selfies (before they were even coined “selfies”). I put song lyrics in my facebook status updates to reflect my current emotional state. Oh, 20’s….I shall miss you. But…goodbye!


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