Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why I Choose to Cloth Diaper

My mom cringed the moment I told her that I wanted to cloth diaper. 
“Cloth diaper??? I still have nightmares about dunking and swishing cloth diapers in the toilet. Please tell me you’re joking. I’ll pay for disposables for you, are you THAT short on cash?” 
I smiled politely and said “Even if I had all the money in the world, I would cloth diaper my children.” 
I must be crazy.

Check out the rest of my guest post over at Hip Moms Go Green, all about why I chose to cloth diaper, and continue to choose it every day. Let me know what you think :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

friday reading time: november 2nd

The Bay
what I love about this: "It's hard. Choosing to listen and hold your tongue; asking questions when you’re dying to share your brilliant advice. Sharing frustrations instead of letting them fester. Rubbing his back when you’d rather have yours rubbed first."

How a singer balances travel and family ---> simple mom
what I love about this: "'How do you do it?' Behind the question are legitimate concerns about a father not being there for his kids’ soccer games, a wife worn out from raising four children alone, a marriage losing heat from too many days and nights spent miles apart."

When You Need A Steady Stream of Confidence Today ---> (in)courage
what I love about this: "Today, we are already complete. We are worthy enough and talented enough and just plain enough."

When the storms come, keep writing ---> the gypsy mama
what I love about this: "They eat their tacos and I turn to the story of a flood that could shame even this one... The days of darkness and fear and frustration. Why hadn’t I paid that part attention before."

It's Easy to Love People ---> The Handwritten
what I love about this: "I'm tired of easy."

photo courtesy of Krystle.M

Thursday, October 18, 2012

party time!

I've been going a little crazy thinking about Lia's third birthday party. Three!! Crazy, crazy. Beyond crazy.

My little baby girl is about to be THREE.

So, for the first time EVER, I'm actually motivated to have a cute and awesome birthday party. Before, I was more go-with-the-flow, and didn't really care to party plan. But I'm motivated! And I have money - for like the first time ever! (The job, remember?)

So, since her birthday is in December, and most parts of the country are having colder weather, I figured I'd bring some cold-air-feelings into our home!

My pinboard on Pinterest for her birthday is bonkers cute, so I'm hoping that her party will be even an ounce of that cuteness.

So I'm thinking snowflakes and balloons. Do those even go together?! Who knows, but I'm going to try to make it work!

This picture is what I'm really wanting to do with some red (and teal?) balloons with the snowflakes falling from the ceiling:





I'm also incredibly inspired by these adorable mason jars with cute signage! I'm trying to think of something else besides "cheers" to possibly put there.

Source: etsy.com via Jenna on Pinterest


So, I've needed some creative juice to come into my system (those are extremely hard to find in case you don't know me that well). I tried to make some prints to put on the display table or as centerpieces... I need to find some more cute quotes for parties/snowflakes/or balloons.



I need to keep searching! Although sometimes I get so caught up in inspiration, I forget to turn my thoughts into action... Jeez the thoughts never end ;)

"partypartypartypartypartypartyparty" ~my brain

Thursday, September 27, 2012

gazing out the window.

These two together make everything perfect. I can't begin to explain how grateful I am that they get to have each other through this beautiful and messy thing called life. 



I know they won't remember these moments, but I always will.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

photo by lia

I love that on the days when I'm not reaching for my camera, and I'm seemingly filling my schedule with busy-ness, Lia forces me to sit and be still with my eyes totally focused on her because she's holding my huge camera and trying to snap photos. It's the cutest thing ever. And it's in those moments that I'm paying the most attention to her, completely and utterly zoned in to her every move.

I edited a few of the photos she snapped, and I kind of love how they turned out. I hope she turns into one hell of a photographer one day - if for nothing else, to capture the love of the world around her.




"we do not remember days. we remember moments."

Friday, August 24, 2012

sisters

I love every single moment I get to be with these girls. I was staring at Lia as she was falling asleep today, and it struck me so intensely - I get to be hers as much as she gets to be mine, for this small amount of time, we get to love on each other. We have the opportunity to be love to each other in this world, in our moments of frailty, in our moments of loneliness or sadness or fear. I was given that opportunity, and I am beyond words grateful for that.

I hope their first memories of Michael, of me, of our family as a whole, are beautiful memories of love, kisses, hugs, laughter, singing and dancing. Jeez I hope I'm doing a good job. The fear - but how driven I am by that fear, that all I ever want is them to feel loved.


some sloppy kisses, the best.


"yes i'll walk in time with you, old friend."


Monday, July 16, 2012

life according to Siena

Sometimes life is like climbing in between some chairs. You have a destination in mind, and no matter how many people tell you that there is another (easier) way, you say to hell with them! and go your own way...



You plan your course of action...


You set about your way...


You get stuck and all confused...


Then some friends come over to assist you, encourage you, and love you.


You get lost in thought...


and thought...


and thought.


Until you've cleared the hardest hurdles...


Only to find your damn foot is stuck.


But alas, you survive, and you make it through, and life is always better with a good glass of cold milk.


Oh, and life is also always better with Lia around...


I love these girls.

Monday, July 2, 2012

siena, siena, siena.

Well, my little one turned one. Siena girl is now a ONE YEAR OLD. Insanity, I tell you! She brings me so much joy it is literally unbelievable. I don't understand what God did when He made her - she is all the goodness wrapped up in one adorable beautiful loving and sweet baby. It's really amazing. There is just something special.

Sadly, I worked on Siena's actual birthday. MAJOR sad. It was so horrible... so the day before, we tried to have some special family time (on "mama and dada's bed"), and tried to soak up all of our love together. Michael and I are some blessed parents to have these two wonderful girls.

Here's dad loving on his babies: 



So, her birthday was on a Thursday, and I also worked Friday. So Saturday and Sunday (and Monday and Tuesday) were ALL about Siena. We sang to her pretty much for two days straight, simply because Lia LOVES the happy birthday song. And Siena just looks up and smiles. Ugh.

On Saturday, Michael's family came over to love on our special girl. Here are ALL the cousins together - I know, I know, the two girls aren't even looking at the camera. But this is shot 25. I'm pretty sure everyone was restless, and seriously, I can't get either of those girls to ever look at me.


Then, of course, we moved on to cake. I got the cake from Whole Foods and it was super yummy... and Annette, Michael's mom did the honors or writing on the cake and decorating it with sprinkles. It was so cute.



"hold up, hold up, what's going on here?" and then there's Lia. That girl has a set of grills :D

We had such an awesome time having breakfast with Michael's family, and were so blessed to be able to do it again with my family the next day! It was so much fun. 


Grandpa had to take his honorary "mouth full of cake" photo with Siena since he did it with Lia. I have that photo on my old computer, so I have to find it and put the two together!


Lia with her most favorite Pablo! Yes, she looks like she's choking him but he ended up okay :)


mmmm gluten free cupcakes - my favorite! ;) 



I mean, isn't he the cutest?! 


I simply can't handle the love that Siena and Lia share - it's so surprising every time a special moment like this happens - not because it happens infrequently - but because I don't understand how they already love another person (who isn't their parent) as much as they do.



I've been trying to teach her how to pose :) Now, we just need to get her looking NEAR the camera.

Then on Tuesday we headed to the nearby splash pad for some good ole splashing time with friends. Siena is one lucky girl to have as many lovely people in her life.



As a recap - we love Siena. The End.

Head over to my current blog at A Mama Collective:



Monday, May 21, 2012

weekend reads: {from} may 20th


inspiration

Where is the Mommy War for the Motherless Child? ---> rage against the minivan
what I love about this: "This is the war I’ll be involved in: We, as a society, are not doing enough to protect at-risk and motherless children, both in our country and globally."

You Never Marry the Right Person ---> Relevant Magazine
what I love about this: "A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you."

Do What You Love ---> simple mom
what I love about this: "I don’t apologize for being a writer, because that’s how God made me, and there’s no reason to justify His creativity. I’ll bet He made you for something, too..."

What the mirror doesn't see ---> the gypsy mama
what I love about this: "He, and He alone, truly sees me. And oh dear friend, I hope you know He sees You too."

On Comparing Yourself ---> (in)courage
what I love about this: "We all, each of us, are in different seasons of life. We make different choices, and God has different plans."

photo courtesy of inkstainedwriter

Saturday, April 28, 2012

rollsandrollsandrollsandrollsandrolls...


Your rolls are more than I can handle. I love them so much... and your clothed-up bum is beyond. Our special moments while Sissy is sleeping are the greatest blessings for me.

Happy 9 months baby girl :)

rain rain don't go away


It was raining and your eyes lit up.

We ran outside cautiously... you stayed close behind.
Once we stuck our hands out to touch the water falling from the sky, you fell in love.

"Threw out my old raincoat, set sail without a boat... for places somewhere far beyond my dreams."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

laughter




have you ever heard a baby laugh this hard?
brings you to tears.
major major tears.

you, Siena girl, are precious.

Monday, April 9, 2012

healthcare at its finest

So, you know, things have been a little crazy lately.

I got a job.
There's that.

I was more than surprised and excited to hear that I had been offered a position at Maricopa Integrated Health Systems. It used to be called Maricopa County Medical Center, but it has since been revamped, rejuvenated and rebranded into MIHS.

I had my first day of orientation today... it was a pretty shocking experience.

I was shocked to hear the CEO and COO come in and talk to us 27 new hires and tell us how much they treasured us... to tell us the amount of importance they put on the service they provide their patients... to tell us that much is expected of us, as servants, as stewards and as patient care workers. It was so awesome to see the secular world being drilled with "every single person must be treated with the utmost dignity and respect and care, they are more than due your time and effort, they are worthy."

The COO came in and told us his five rules that he expects of us:
1. Wear your badge, always. You transform when you have that badge on, he said the badge is "magical," that much is expected of you when you wear that badge.
2. Introduce yourself, to every person, always. They are worth your eye contact, that one-on-one attention, that individualized patient care.
3. Escort every single person that looks lost to his destination. Once you get to his destination, hand him off to the appropriate MIHS employee.
4. After you escort them, you must ask, "Is there anything else I can do for you?"
5. Wear your badge, always. This time, with a sense of ownership. This is your facility, your hospital, your home, your responsibility. It's not anyone else's responsibility.

I literally thought this was the coolest thing. The COO found it important enough to come look me in the eye and tell me that I was worth it, and that I should pass along that same sentiment to the sick, the weary, the homeless, the imprisoned, the widowed.

Who else called me to that?

No where else in the state could I have the same experience as I will have at MIHS.

I will serve the homeless.
will serve those in handcuffs.
will serve the poor.
will serve the weak.
will serve children.
will serve the smallest of babies.
will serve those scarred by burns.
will serve those fearful of death, of life, of disability.
will serve the widowed.

will serve these people, in no other way than I ever could have imagined. I will serve these beautiful creatures that the Lord looks with favor upon, and I will serve them with dignity, with grace, with love.

Just as I have been served, by Him.

Monday, April 2, 2012

weekend reads: {from} march 31st



zoriah_photojournalist_war_photographer-bangladesh-alley_20100216_0324


California Bill Threatens Vaccine Freedom of Choice ---> mothering
what I love about this: "And it’s a government intrusion into our personal freedom to make health care decisions for our children."

Awake My Soul ---> Thoroughly Alive
what I love about this: "Sometimes you come awake to God as if jolted from a dream."

Words as Worship ---> MomHeart
what I love about this: "I have to decide, before the explosion of the day’s beginning hits, to consecrate my mouth and choose whom I will serve with my words."

When they ask you what you did today ---> the gypsy mama
what I love about this: "'We ran cherry blossom laps,' I tell him."

The Quiet in a Mama's House, a Mama's Mind ---> (in)courage
what I love about this: "We can’t talk and swallow at the same time, we call Jesus our bread even in the minuscule quiet moments, and then we take and eat."

Friday, March 30, 2012

my baker's dozen NEEDS for a newborn

I know that many a people have composed many a lists on newborn necessities, but I thought it might be fun to compile my own, especially because I feel like there are pregnant women EVERYWHERE! I'm not even jealous of you!....yet. Till I meet your squishy babies then I'll want another one for myself! (Don't tell my husband.)

Anyway, here is the list. My things I cannot/could not live without when Lia and Siena were newborns. These are not in order of importance, they are ALL important to me.


  1. Sound Machine: I am a huge believer in sound machines (white noise, etc.). They are a great tool in washing out the noise of the outside world so baby can sleep soundly without waking to loud cars, loud neighbors, loud cats, loud big sisters, loud dish washing, loud - you get the idea.
  2. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: I literally would not have survived without this book. I know that I owe so much to this book for how I learned to read/understand/comfort our girls. The Baby Whisperer's main philosophy is Eat, Play, Sleep. Meaning: baby eats, baby plays, baby goes back to sleep then the cycle starts all over again (basically you aren't nursing the baby for every nap, so baby learns to go to sleep without relying on the boob - please see #13). Also, this allows baby to digest milk/formula/food before they go back to sleep.
  3. Cloth Diapers: Obviously, if you know me at all, you know I love cloth diapers. I talk about why I love them here and explain the basic systems. Basically, I would prefer to lower the toxins that are going into my babes' bodies, and disposable diapers are full of those. An added bonus to using cloth diapers (but #1 for my husband) is that it SAVES THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS! I've linked to the Bummis kit which has 36 unbleached prefolds, 6 diaper covers, 2 rolls of flushable liners, and an instruction book.
  4. Cloth Wipes: I didn't use cloth wipes at very beginning, and I wish I had. These have come in handy for runny noses/little spit ups/etc. without wasting money on disposable wipes. They also clean up poo so much better than disposable wipes... I only use one cloth wipe when I probably would have used seven disposables.
  5. Wrap Style Baby Carrier: I've linked to the Wrapsody carrier since it was the one I used and loved. It is not as stretchy as the Moby wrap, which is nice because it doesn't make the baby all saggy the longer you wear him/her (which makes you have to tighten it since it is not as supportive). This is definitely my preferred babywearing method during the newborn/infant stage because it is the most cuddly thing EVER. Also, buckle carriers (such as the Ergo and Boba) are just not as supportive/comfortable for the newborn stage. They also require different ways to wear the carrier to adapt it for a newborn, whereas a wrap is perfect for newborns all the way up to 35 lbs.
  6. Onesies: I obviously have two girls, and people just LOVE to buy girls the cutest clothes! However, I literally need to make a conscious effort to put my girls in cute outfits and snap photos and all that jazz. I really just go for comfort when it comes to the newborn age... They are so little and squishy anyway, they look adorable in everything! Onesies are about all I had Siena in this time around, especially since I tried to wear her as often as possibly in my Wrapsody. Another necessity in my eyes are socks... all baby's heat leaves her feet! So I wrap socks on the babe and she gets to keep her heat where it's needed :)
  7. Colic Medicine: I put the good ole' Gripe Water on here. This was my go-to when I just could NOT figure out for the life of me why Lia and Siena were crying. You're fed, you've slept, you're not overstimulated... must be gas! So I drop some Gripe Water into their mouths and voila! Mama feels better :) It's something I've highly recommended to many a moms who simply cannot figure out why their babe is fussing.
  8. Baby Shampoo/Wash and Lotion: I don't go on the cheap in the next few categories. These are areas that are really important to me because they are things that are going onto the baby or the baby is constantly touching, and I know that the less toxic the substance, the better. Earth Mama Angel Baby is an incredible shampoo/body wash and lotion, and I cannot speak highly enough of it. It has a fantastic rating on the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Database. Check out that site - it is my go-to for knowing the toxic impact on the products I put on my skin.
  9. Car seat: Since I was either wearing Siena in my wrap or put one of the girls in my stroller, I never saw the need for an "infant" car seat. I would go with the convertible version, where it will work from infancy to toddler-hood. Best bang for your buck, and you don't have to lug around a huge car seat wherever you go.
  10. A Crib: I used to live in a dreamworld in my head where it would be awesome to sleep with your baby and Mike and I would be as comfortable as can be, and the babe would be nestled into my arms every night and I would get to smell her sweet scent for forever... Didn't happen. I loved sleeping with Lia and then eventually Siena for the first week and a half - two weeks. With Lia we put her in bassinet by our bed, but even that was hard for us - I would wake with every peep, and I would pinch Mike every single time he snored. It was just hard for us. Both of the girls went to their cribs pretty early on, which gave all of us a great night's sleep. (I rarely regret this decision, not co-sleeping for longer, but the thought of my snuggly baby close to me all night sounds so beautiful sometimes. But then I sprawl out in my bed with Michael and I remember how nice it is to be just us two.)
  11. Organic Crib Mattress (with organic cotton sheets): Wouldn't budge on this if you paid me. This is where my baby is spending 18 of her 24 hours in a day, so it better not be a toxic environment for her to be on. Read more on the disadvantages to standard mattresses here.
  12. Swaddle Blankets: Babies love to be swaddled... if you haven't heard of Happiest Baby on the Block, it's a great book that I've taken tidbits of info from. One of their "s"es is "swaddling." Basically, the babe was all up and cozy in your womb for the past 40 weeks, he/she wants to be cozy-ed once he or she is out - cozy them up, darn it! It is super important for the babe to be swaddled when she's sleeping because her movements are so jerky that it could wake her from her sleep. Swaddle away with these INSANELY soft swaddle blankets... they're uh-mazing.
  13. A Boob: You cannot find this on Amazon, but if you search your body, you may be able to locate this. Obviously, if you are unable to nurse, bottles, etc would be in this spot :)
Hopefully this list is useful to you in some way. If not, I apologize. Come back again!

What would you add?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

a masterpiece

I always wanted to be good at something. No, correction, I always wanted to be great at something. I struggled with being "good" at lots of things, and not so "great" at much.


I played lots of sports growing up, and knew how to be a good athlete, just not a "great" volleyball player or "great" softball player or "great" basketball player. But a good athlete, I had that in the bag.


I loved playing sports, I loved being in dance, I loved being active, and I definitely want to pass those attributes onto the girls. 


I also want them to have a creative side, and a side where they can express themselves in a different way than with physical activity. I would love for them to be artistic - whether it be writing, photography, art, theater, singing, music, etc. Never mind being great, I ALWAYS wanted to be at least good at these things, and I never was. I want them to explore these things in ways that I never did, to fully devote themselves to something they feel passionate about and give all of themselves for the glory of God.


What a joy that will be, to see what it is that they fall in love with - whether it be opera or lacrosse or sculpting - I can't wait to cheer for them on the sidelines and help them fulfill their dreams.


“Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.” ~JPII

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