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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Missing My Daddy

My dad would have been 63 on Thursday, January 28 so naturally he has been on my mind a lot this week. I loved both of my parents, but I adored my dad and was always a "Daddy's Girl".

The birthdays and anniversaries the hardest, but I press on and I am grateful for the memories.

My sister did a nice job honoring our father's life on her blog, LA 'n' LA this week.

This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my dad. It was taken in Tunisia in April, 2005.

Michael Stephen Adams
January 28, 1947 - October 15, 2007

Rest In Peace.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shaping Your Future

Lucas has been diagnosed with in utero left sided plagiocephaly (significant flattening and asymmetry of the back of the head and face and ear misalignment) and we have been seeing a physical therapist for his torticollis (a condition in which the head is tilted toward one side, and the chin is elevated and turned toward the opposite side) for three months.

The good news is that plagiocephaly and torticollis are not life threatening and are easily treated.

Yesterday, we were told Lucas is a candidate for the DOC Band, a lightweight 6-oz helmet, that works by applying mild holding pressure and redirecting growth to less prominent areas. The band must be worn for 23 hours a day, only removing for bathing and dressing for up to four months.

The use of DOC Band is NOT a cosmetic fix, it is a restorative fix designed to bring the infant's head back to its normal head shape and balance the asymmetry.

I am devastated.

I don't want my baby to wear this device.

I think my son is perfect exactly the way he is.

I don't want strangers to stare at him in the band. I don't want to hear their comments or questions and I certainly do not want to respond to them.

I am angry that my OBGYN and ultrasound technicians didn't see in the umpteen ultrasounds I had done that my baby was crunched up in my womb. We could have possibly repositioned him.

I am vain.

I am also a mother who wants the very best for my child. A misshapen head can lead to vision problems, ear infections, headaches and speech disorders. Not to mention the psychological impact of society's often cruel view of deformity.

This is going to be a difficult four months for me, but Lucas will never remember it and in the long run will probably thank us for making this decision.

The best is yet to be and you're welcome, my love.

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Bon Appetit

I'm convinced, homemade baby food is the way to go and it is so easy!

Making my own baby's food gives me total control over what is in it i.e. no additives or preservatives or any other chemicals that I can't pronounce, and if I can do it, so can you (see my previous post, Creature of Habit regarding my lack of experience and comfort when it comes to the kitchen).

I love that I didn't need to buy some fancy contraption, like the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker for $150 or the industrial strength Vita-Mix 5200 (whatever that is?!). Everything I needed was already in my kitchen...a wire steamer basket, a Cuisinart and muffin tins. Have I mentioned how easy it is? The directions are simple: steam veggies and fruit, or boil meats, puree the heck out of them and then freeze. Depending on your appetite, I have at least two months of brown rice, acorn squash, sweet potatoes and pears on hand.

I recently heard journalist and author, Michael Pollan* say "you can feed your family fast food cheaper than you can buy fresh produce as a result of federal agricultural policy". That statement is just sad. The average American family eats fast food four times a week. Not this family!!

I believe that healthy eating habits begin at home and I was thrilled when our nanny enthusiastically agreed to help me take the plunge into making baby food at home. To be fair, she did most of the work.

Once I was Desperately Seeking Baby Food/Feeding Advice and now I am all about homemade goodness! I am committed to making high quality, healthy, organic food for you and you seem to love it! Bonus. :)

The best is yet to be.

.....................................................................................

*In his 20 years of reporting on food, Michael Pollan has picked up a number of rules to eat by. They're now collected in an eater's manual, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. His guidelines to good eating include:

1: Eat food .
2: Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
7: Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
13: Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
39: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

"It's not that hard to eat well if you're willing to put a little more time into it, a little more thoughtfulness into it and, yes, a little bit more money," Pollan says.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beach Therapy

I love the ocean. I love the way the ocean smells. I love the way the ocean calms. I love the vastness and the way the ocean makes me feel so small. I mostly love our walks by the ocean.

I took these photos of you today with my phone, so they aren't great.

I can tell you love the ocean too. You were enthralled with the wind, seagulls and sand.




“The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.” - Isak Dinesen

The best is yet to be.

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Go With Confidence

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

I believe that being a mom is largely a self-confidence game
. My (not-so-new) baby tests my wits constantly, just when I need them most. But the more confident I become, the less stressed I feel, the calmer Lucas is and the smoother things go all around us.

I read the following article by Colleen Moriarty in the Fall 2009/Winter 2010 issue of Mom & Baby (a spin off of Fit Pregnancy) magazine and her words ring true to me:

Gaining self confidence is important to becoming a mom, but being unsure isn’t all bad. “If uncertain feelings are creeping in, you’re taking your job as mom with a lot of responsibility,” says Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles. “By recognizing the paramount effect you have for shaping your child’s personality, self-esteem and physical well-being, you’re taking the first step to being a great mom.”

Your baby already thinks you’re top-notch. The following 10 tips will help you believe it, too.

1. Act like a baby-care pro
To be more self-confident, begin by acting like it. Your baby will feel safer, calmer and happier as a result, and soon assuredness won’t be a guise as you get the hang of cleaning the umbilical cord, giving your baby a bath or maneuvering a wobbly little head through a shirt opening. “Take a cue from kindergarten teachers,” says Frances Xavier, M.D., a pediatrician at Gateway Medical Group in Anaheim, Calif. “Speak lower and slower to calm you both down.”


2. Don’t cave in to bad advice
“She needs cereal,” my parents and in-laws said every time my newborn daughter fussed. By six weeks, I was so dazed from night- time nursing and pressured by their certainty I was starving my daughter with breast milk that I almost gave her some rice cereal. But I decided to double-check with her pediatrician and, sure enough, their advice was 30 years outdated. Don’t relent when barraged with advice from people who act as if they know more than you do.


3. Overcome “bad mommy” syndrome
All moms feel inadequate at some point. “As Johnny was learning to sit up, I would sit with him constantly to make sure he didn’t fall and hit his head,” says Rebecca Zysk, 31, of Apopka, Fla. “One day I moved for one second to get a burp cloth, and down he went. I felt terrible.”


When you feel the guilt coming on, follow these guidelines: First, put your offense in perspective. Did you lock him in the closet, leave him in a hot, parked car? Of course not. Second, remind your too-critical inner voice that all kids—even babies—get hurt sometimes. Third, make a change that will prevent the problem—and guilt—next time. (Propping your baby in a U-shaped nursing pillow may prevent future falls.) Finally, put the incident where it belongs: in the past.

4. Lose the audience
When your baby is hard to calm, find a place to work it out in private. Not only will this get your child out of a stimulating environment, but it will also protect you from unsolicited advice. If relatives try to follow you, go into the bathroom and shut the door. (Even the nosiest know-it-alls won’t follow you there!) Then turn on the fan—the white noise may do the trick.


5. Be decisive
Tune into your gut feelings to make decisions quickly and confidently. Start small (regular or lavender baby wash?) and work up. Quickly “try on” your decision before finalizing. “See how you feel—relieved or rubbed the wrong way—and listen to yourself,” says Debra Condren, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in New York. Once you choose, move on without second-guessing. “Keep reminding yourself: I’m top-dog expert here.”


6. Take notes
You may know the answers to all the pediatrician’s questions, from your baby’s age to her highest temperature, before you walked into his office, but suddenly you can barely remember your child’s name. Research shows that people under acute stress have difficulty retaining information in their short-term memories. So bring notes to every appointment with your pediatrician and jot down the doctor’s instructions while you’re there.


7. Don’t hide your emotions
It’s understandable to lose your calm after your baby has been on a crying jag for three hours or your toddler is throwing a tantrum. The surprise is, sometimes it’s good for your baby to see you upset, as long as it’s justified and doesn’t happen too often. As she grows, your child will look to you to learn how to handle emotions. When she sees you sad, scared, mad or frustrated, say what you’re thinking: “I was feeling sad, but I feel better now” or “That was scary. I’m glad we’re safe.” “Your child is going to run that ‘mommy tape’ in her head the rest of her life whenever she’s feeling emotional,” says Kathryn Oden, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist at Carson-Tahoe Hospital in Carson City, Nev. “She’s going to learn how to self-soothe from you.” Just dial back the drama if your baby starts to cry or look frightened.

8. Beware of competitive friends
Not even your mother-in-law can make you doubt yourself as much as that friend whose child does everything first. My friend’s daughter was walking when mine was still not crawling. The competitive friend is always doling out advice on how to get your baby to catch up and pointing out what you’re doing wrong. The best response? “We’re happy with Sam’s development.”


9. Take time for you
“Taking a mom’s day, hour or 15 minutes is required for good parenting,” psychologist Thomas says. “Parents need balance in their lives. If you don’t have time to replenish your soul and rejuvenate yourself, you’re not going to be at your best for your child. You’re going to be impatient, frustrated and ill-tempered.” Recharge your batteries with a quick bubble bath, listen to soothing music, do an exercise video. You’ll be a good role model for your child, showing her that taking care of yourself is a priority.


10. Be happy together
Spend as much undistracted time as you can with your baby, allowing yourself to be in the moment. Seeing your little one conquer a new milestone will remind you of the good job you’re doing.

Why are we so hard on ourselves sometimes? Some of these are harder to accomplish (believe) than others and some are so simple... With all of the guilt I have been feeling lately, I really appreciate #9 and I think #10 is pure genius. I'll keep this list and refer back to it every now and then to make sure that I am being as confident as I can be.

The best is yet to be.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Things

I was so excited to find these classic Fisher-Price toys at Target recently and couldn't help myself by getting you my childhood favorites of the bunch; the Chatter Telephone and the Rock-a-Stack. The marketer in me loves the retro-style packaging too.

Do you remember these?













Target also sells the Sock Monkey, a Sock Monkey Jack in the Box, Lincoln Logs, Radio Flyer classic red wagons, Slinkies and Mr. (and Mrs.) Potato Heads.

Just goes to show you that you don't need to mess with a good thing. Babies are babies...they respond to bright colors, love stacking, pulling, pushing and noise makers; and moms love toys that educate, encourage development and don't cost a fortune.

The best is yet to be!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Most Important Job In The World

I have been reluctant to write about this, but it is time to come clean...

We have hired a nanny.

For the purposes of this blog, I will call her Angel, because in my eyes, that's what she is to me. Angel helps me care for you for five hours a day, two days a week and she has been working with us for a month.

Whew, that wasn't so hard.

Before you judge, (that's my defensive, inner critic/guilty conscience speaking) I feel like a big fat loser/fraud/incompetent mother for having her. After all, I don't work and since June my sole job has been to stay at home and raise you. I am proud of this role and have never been happier, but it's the most challenging position I have ever held and I felt as if I was slowly losing myself before I admitted that I needed help. In short, I am a better mother because of Angel.

Ideally, stay at home moms choose to stay home (like I have) and in a perfect world, we'd all have smiles on our faces, never complain and enjoy every moment we are home with our little tike(s), but being a stay at home mom is a full-time, 24-hour a day job, even with a hands on partner, like your dad. I am the mommy and that role is very different; it's everything. As Mommy, you are always "on". You don't get a lunch break, two week vacation, weekends off or sick days. Of course, there are exceptions and there are mom's hiring nannies to care of their kid(s) because they just don't want to, and that's a whole different issue altogether.

Having a nanny for a few hours every week is an absolute luxury and one that I am lucky to be able to afford. I don't believe I am a bad mother to care for myself or need a break, in fact, having Angel makes me better mentally and physically. I have been able to go to two doctor's appointments, grocery shop, have a nice long (uninterrupted) lunch with a friend and go to the gym..three times!

I believe that motherhood is the most important job a woman will ever undertake in her lifetime. It is the one job that will give her satisfaction of mind, body, heart and soul. I also believe that no other person can raise my son with as much love as I can, but I am blessed to have these 10 hours a week to recharge.

The best is yet to be.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

GaGa For GaGa

Sometimes, I'm the last to jump on the band wagon. For example, people told me for years how much I'd love the TV shows Grey's Anatomy and Brothers and Sisters, that I would thoroughly enjoy reconnecting and staying connected to friends on Facebook, that if I tried acai berry juice, I might just enjoy it, and that if I got an iPhone, I would get used to it and learn to love it. In each instance, I was stubborn and resisted and held out, until one day...I tried all of those things and now, can't imagine my life without them. As strange as it may sound, appreciating Lady GaGa is no exception.

I had heard Lady GaGa's music at the gym and on the radio and knew my sister dressed up as her for her Halloween last year (I'm still not sure what a disco stick is) and I thought she was just another wannabe Madonna, along the lines of Britney and Christina. It was actually your dad, who I feel has the strangest taste in music, that made me really take notice.

I believe Lady GaGa is a genius.

Say what you will about her outlandish make-up, daring fashion sense and shocking and sexually charged performances, Lady GaGa's music is absolutely infectious. If you can't get the chorus of Bad Romance out of your head, you are a better person that I am.

She's talented, too. She writes her own lyrics, plays classic piano and obviously designs her own wardrobe. I believe that she likes to push boundaries but doesn't just shock for shock's sake. So, what message does she want to send? In a recent interview she said, "I want them [my fans] to free themselves, and I want them to be proud of who they are. I want them to celebrate all the things they don't like about themselves the way that I did, and to be truly happy from the inside."

She's the most successful 23 year old I know. Lady GaGa's latest smash hit, Bad Romance, has set the record for the most weekly plays registered in Billboard's Pop Songs radio airplay tally history. Last week, the song was played 10,859 times across the nation, knocking Leona Lewis out of her titled position (in 2008, Bleeding Love was played 10,665 times in one week).

Lady GaGa's hit single Just Dance has just gone platinum five times over. It is the first song EVER by a female artist to surpass 5 million downloads!

If you are still reluctant to jump on the wagon yourself, think she's too "out there", or aren't into electronic dance music, listen to her ballad Speechless. I guarantee it will knock your socks off.

The best is yet to be if you just dance!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Gift Of An Ordinary Day

My mother-in-law sent me this beautiful video today of best-selling author Katrina Kenison reading to a group from her latest book, The Gift Of An Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir.

Please don't be discouraged by the length; it's a little over seven minutes long, but worth every single one.

May we all embrace the gift of an ordinary day.

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Guest Post

Your Aunt Leah has started her own blog about her new life in Los Angeles, but she will continue to provide notes to you here. Here is her latest:

Dear
Lucas,

Your Aunt Leah is back here on your mom’s blog but this time I have some advice for you. Last week I went to Jamaica and read an interesting article on the plane ride and I wanted to share with you what I learned from it.

The article was about Jay Leno, the late night talk show host and what he considers to be the secret of his success. And since I want you to be successful in this life, I thought I would share this with you.

I’ve never been a huge fan of his and I would usually rather watch Conan or even Letterman, however, his words in this particular article really spoke to me. It’s interesting that such a successful and popular comedian believes the key to a good life is maintaining low self-esteem. Who would have ever though that Jay Leno had poor self-esteem before breaking into the entertainment industry? I totally get it though. Leno says, “If you go into a situation assuming that you are the dumbest person in the room, I think you will fare better than if you go in assuming you are the smartest one.” He goes on to say, “that at no point in the day am I going 100 miles per hour. Most people work in 100-mile per-hour spurts and then relax. For me, one of the keys to success is pacing myself.”

I think that I agree with that work ethic. It’s that constant steady pace that will get more accomplished in the long run without feeling too crazed or overwhelmed.

With this philosophy, Leno thinks he is one of the hardest-working people in show business. I would have to agree with that statement. He certainly gets a lot done. He has his own daily late night talk show, and an on-going comedy tour. He is one busy guy! Now, while this is great and all, I do not expect you to rush into Hollywood kicking and screaming for this kind of job. You do whatever makes you happy and try following Leno’s work ethic. I also believe that if you go into any situation (be it at the workplace or at home) hoping for the best but expecting the worst, you’ll almost always surprise yourself. I think this a great way of looking at every situation in your life.

Well, Lucas, I hope that this was helpful to you. I love you very much and wish you all the success in the world!

Love,

Leah

These are great words of wisdom, Lucas. Above all else, we want nothing more for you than for you to be happy. Follow your heart and success can never be too far behind.

The best is yet to be.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yes We Can!

"I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about change to Washington...I'm asking you to believe in yours." - Barack Obama

I followed Obama's campaign diligently while I was pregnant with you and found out he had won the presidency while at a Madonna concert at Petco Park.

I am a sucker for celebrating milestones and today is a big one. One year ago today, President Barack Obama became the nation's 44th president.

In the 365 days since, the president’s approval ratings have dropped from their high water mark at 69% to 50%, according to a Gallup poll.

To be fair, Obama inherited an enormous mess; an eight year old war, a failing economy, and a nightmare health care system.

Despite the challenges Obama faced at his inauguration and compromises he's made on issues, I think things could have been worse if the other candidate had been elected.

Love him or hate him, Democrat or Republican, I think you'll agree that these are amazing First Year photos taken by photographer Pete Souza, the current chief White House photographer.

The best is yet to be.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No Phone Zone Pledge

Millions of people text, talk or e-mail on their cell phones while driving—a recent survey finds that 71% of people between the ages of 18 and 49 admit they text or talk on the phone while they drive.

If you think you can call, text and drive at the same time, you cannot. That message you can't wait to send could kill. Distracted driving is an epidemic that is sweeping through our country, claiming lives and destroying families.

California’s text-messaging law went into effect on January 1, 2009 making it illegal for drivers to use wireless devices to send, receive or read electronic files while on the road. I have been breaking the law since January 1, 2009. I don't know how lucky I have been.

Yesterday's Oprah Winfrey show was very sobering, to say the least. I just watched it on TiVo and I'm still shocked and moved to make a change.

One of the mother's featured on the show said it best, "Get off the phone. Save a life. Don't talk and drive," she says. "You've got precious cargo in that car. Your life. Your children's life. They are not worth a phone call, a text, an e-mail. It's not worth it." She lost her nine-year old daughter when an SUV hit her. Police say that the driver had recently finished a phone call at the time of the accident. "The driver said: 'I'm so sorry. I didn't see her,'"

You are my precious cargo and today, I pledge to make my car a No Phone Zone. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an end to distracted driving by not texting or using my phone while I am driving. I will ask other drivers I know to do the same. I pledge to make a difference.

I encourage you to take this pledge too!

The best is yet to be.

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An American Hero

I meant to post this yesterday on the United States Federal holiday marking the birth date of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation. The movements and marches he led brought significant changes in the fabric of American life through his courage and selfless devotion. This devotion gave direction to thirteen years of civil rights activities. His charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world.

Dr. King’s concept of “somebodiness,” which symbolized the celebration of human worth and the conquest of subjugation, gave black and poor people hope and a sense of dignity. His philosophy of nonviolent direct action, and his strategies for rational and non-destructive social change, galvanized the conscience of this nation and reordered its priorities. His wisdom, his words, his actions, his commitment, and his dream for a new way of life are intertwined with the American experience.

Dr. King was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement and he was killed for being outspoken.

Dr. King was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. He was only 39 years old. Dr. King was in Memphis to help lead sanitation workers in a protest against low wages and intolerable working conditions. James Earl Ray was arrested in London, England on June 8, 1968, and returned to Memphis, Tennessee on July 19, 1969 to stand trial for the assassination of Dr. King. On March 9, 1969, before coming to trial, he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to ninety-nine years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary.

Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. It was not only his most famous speech, but is one of the top speeches ever given. It is a beautiful speech and if you have never read it in it's entirety, I urge you to do so.

Here is an excerpt:

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."


The best is yet to be and I believe in dream.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Rainy Day Blues

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." - Dolly Parton

Your dad left for Arizona this morning for an annual trip he takes to attend the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction and other events. He'll return in six days. We are both going to be a little off while he is away. Luckily, your aunt will be visiting us for a couple of days, followed by your grandma.

It has been dark, windy and pouring rain all day long and unfortunately, it is suppose to be like this all week. Right now, the sky is the most beautiful shades of indigo and gray. We are safe and warm inside and very much loved.

The best is yet to be.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

You Own My Heart

It must be so frustrating being a baby. It must be terribly defeating not having the capability to communicate what it is that you want or need, when you want and need it. Without words, you are virtually crippled. You cry and whine and hope that your caretakers figure it out, but it usually takes them a while (particularly if one of your caretakers is me). It is so unfair to you and babies everywhere and it makes me feel bad, especially when you are sick. There really is nothing worse than a sick helpless baby.

Sometimes I look at you and wonder if you know how much you are loved. I can officially say, without a doubt, you own my heart. I didn't fall in love with you immediately, I had to get to know a little bit first. Now that I do, there's no turning back... The love you feel for your own child is really indescribable. It's deeper and wider than any other love there is.

I wonder if you feel my love? I have to think (hope) that on some level you do, like when you physically reach for me or draw yourself closer to me. That's early stages of affection, isn't it? Maybe it's just the instinctive need for the maternal caregiver?

I know love isn't enough when you are bored, over stimulated, tired, or just need a good burp, but I hope you know we are/I am trying and that I would do anything for you. I would do anything to make you smile.

Your Aunt Leah wrote you this poem shortly after you were born and posted it on her blog recently. It's sweet, simple and I don't think truer words have ever been said. I will treasure it always and hope that you will too.

Forever and Ever
Your parents made you with all of their love.

They had help from your mom’s parents up above.

We’ll love you forever, this much I know is true.

I can say for certain that there’s no one else like you.
As you grow up, we’ll do everything that we can

to make sure that you grow up to be a great man.
We promise to teach you all kinds of different things;

Like how to listen and what possibilities life brings.
You’ll learn how to play, work and how to read.

You will learn everything that you’ll surely need.

But most of all, we’ll show you how to love and care.
In this crazy world we live in, those feelings are often rare.

Right now, you are very small and you have your father’s looks.

Maybe when you’re older, you’ll be like your mother and love to read books.

Well, Lucas, let's treasure every moment we have together.
I will always love you forever and ever.

The best is yet to be and I, too will love you forever and ever.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Disaster In Haiti

On Tuesday, January 12 a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Port-au-Price, Haiti. It is estimated that about three million people were affected by the quake and about 45,000–50,000 people were killed.

Christa Brelsford, a student from Arizona State University, lost a leg after being trapped under a collapsed building. She was one of the lucky ones.

Matt Lauer spoke to Brelsford this morning on The Today Show and I encourage you to watch the interview and read about her ordeal here.
Let this brave woman be an example for all of us!

I donated to the Red Cross through one of the most amazing fundraising campaigns I have ever heard of or participated in, done solely through text messages. It was already stunning Red Cross officials on Thursday when it hit $3 million. By this morning, the tally had more than doubled! The campaign, made viral on networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, has raised $8 million according to a Twitter message from the White House that was reposted on the Red Cross Web site.

If you are feeling generous and would like to help Haiti earthquake victims, please visit this list of charities or do what I did and text 909-99 to make a $10 contribution.

The best is yet to be and my heart and thoughts go out to all the earthquake victims.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Everything I Know I Learned On The Street

Sesame Street turned 40 years old on November 10, 2009 and I must admit that was a bit of a shock to me, because having watched it as a kid, it means I’m getting old(er) too.

I recently Tivo'ed a couple of episodes for you after my friend, Colleen told me that her four month old loves Elmo. After just a few minutes, you too seemed to be hooked on all the furry creatures and friendly neighbors and I, in turn was pleasantly surprised that the show hasn't changed all that much since I was a kid.

In a world that now has Baby Einstein, Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, Caillo and Bob the Builder, I love that Sesame Street is still on the air, still going strong and more importantly, has withstood the test of time.

I can't imagine how anybody could have grown up to be a well-adjusted person without having watched this show. I learned my numbers, letters (in both English and Spanish, with a little sign language on the side), the importance of sharing, friendship, generosity, equality, rubber duckies and the occasional cookie (sugar) binge.

I watched the show religiously and there are skits, songs and scenarios that will forever be burned into my brain. I hope you get as much joy out of the show as I did. Here's to 40 more years of excellent children's programming.

The best is yet to be.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The sun finally peeked through the clouds enough for us to go for a walk earlier. I think the fresh air did us both some good. Unfortunately, somewhere between here and there, I lost my iPod Shuffle. I retraced my steps three times before I found it...destroyed on the side of the road! :( Oh well, it was nice spending time with you and hearing you happily jibber jabbering as we strolled.

I am still feeling horrible about our rough night and your tiny little infected ears and I'm sorry that I don't always know exactly what you need when you need it, but I do know that I can illicit a smile from you whenever you hear me sing this song:

The best is yet to be.

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Guilt Goes Hand-In-Hand With Motherhood

I made the mistake of taking you for a sleep over at my good friend, Colleen's house last night. She also has a baby and we like to get our boys together from time to time (AKA hope that they will go sleep and we can visit). You were pretty much fussy the entire time we were there. Thankfully, you went to sleep at 6:30 per usual and then woke up at 10:00 crying, scared and completely out of sorts. You would not go back to sleep. I could see the writing on the wall so, at almost midnight with both of us in tears, I packed up our stuff and drove home (an hour drive by the way).

You fell asleep half way home and I was successful in getting you from your car seat to your crib without too much upheaval and there you slept peacefully until almost 3:00, when you woke up screaming having peed through your jammies and sheets. We were up for an hour, you downed a bottle, got a new outfit and dry sheets and blankets and were back down for two hours. You decided to greet the day at 6:00 and up until 26 minutes ago had been going strong ever since. Can you say exhaustion?

You had a follow up doctor's appointment this morning to check on your ear infection and we found out that not only do you still have it, but it's now in your other ear too. That would explain your recent sour mood and agitation.

Poor Baby + Guilty Mommy = More Antibiotics and hopefully a nice long nap...for both of us.

The best is yet to be.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Desperately Seeking Baby Food/Feeding Advice

We are seriously struggling with the solid food thing. We are talking about pursed lips and gagging. I'm not sure what to do. This kid would rather eat (chew on) anything but food!

Today we tried a banana mushed up in cereal and it was quite the struggle. Of course, that is an empty bowl in the photo above, so it couldn't have been that bad, right? Trust me, it was. I had to be very sneaky; singing to him, waiting for him to smile wide and then slipping the spoon into his mouth.

We have tried organic brown rice cereal, stewed carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples and Gerber Graduates Puffs and have had very little luck with any of those. Actually, of all of those, Granny Smith apples and plain cereal are his favorites, but he's eating anything on a regular basis. I just can't seem to find anything Lucas enjoys as much as the bottle.

I am using the Guide to Feeding your Baby on the BabyCenter Web site, which has been very helpful, but for all you moms out there, please recommend a baby food book or Web site that you turn to. Any any tips and tricks you have when it comes to making meals and feeding your children would be most appreciated too. Thanks!

The best is yet to be.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

La Jolla Motor Car Classic

La Jolla, California has long been the destination for the finer things in life. Breathtaking coastlines, exceptional cuisine, elegant homes, exquisite shopping and of course fine automobiles have been staples in this luxurious locale since the 1880s.

The La Jolla Historical Society paid tribute to some of the world's finest automobiles today at the 6th Annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic, at the beautiful La Jolla Cove. Your dad's company is a major sponsor of this event and here are some fun photos from our day:


You sure did seem to know your way around that pricey 1967 Porsche 910. Do you also happen to have $1,000,000 laying around? :)

The best is yet to be.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Exercise In Patience

Sadly, your dad had to work all day today, in fact, it's after 9:00 PM and he is still working, so I decided to take you up to LA to visit your Aunt Leah.

It's been less than a week since Leah moved to LA and she is already completely unpacked and for all intents and purposes settled in. Aside from a couple of odds and ends, she made creative use of all of the space in her new place and her room looks great!

We had a nice visit and lunch at a fun place called Giggles 'N' Hugs, the friendliest kid-friendly restaurant I have ever been to or heard of. It offers a healthy, mostly organic menu and a large portion of the restaurant is devoted to a play area. Unfortunately, you are a bit too young yet to use the see-saw, drive around on the tricycles, or go down the slides, but you enjoyed watching all the other children and playing with the colorful kid-size utensils and some other just-your-size toys in the play area. I appreciate Leah finding a place for us that is not only tolerant of toddler behavior, but celebrates it. This alone helps a mother relax immensely!

After lunch, we indulged in Crumbs Bake Shop cupcakes, where the "Elvis" (pictured above) is the cupcake of the month. Just listen to this decadent description: vanilla cake filled and frosted with banana cream cheese frosting, topped with a swirl of real creamy peanut butter and edged with peanut butter chips. Yum, and I don't even like bananas, but I love love LOVE cupcakes, so this stop was a real treat.

What wasn't such a treat and what I will HAVE to learn to deal with better, is the traffic! We spent about as much time with Leah, as we did in the car. Aggghhh! It took us two and a half hours to get to her house and back home....that's five hours, plus all the driving around we did while up there. Traffic drives me (no pun intended) absolutely insane! As always, you were a good sport, but your poor mommy lacks the patience to deal with look-lous, red lights or grid lock. I don't mind being in the car or even driving, it's just all the stop and go and waiting that kills me. I am trying to focus on the nice time we had and the fact that Leah now lives so much closer, but it's hard.

The best is yet to be.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

You're Gonna Miss This

I have been known to listen to country music from time to time and the other day I heard this song for the first time, even though it is a couple of years old and I just fell in love with the message.

With you turning seven months old this week, time not slowly down and my world sometimes feeling like it's spinning out of control, it sums up where my head is lately:

You're Gonna Miss This
by Trace Atkins

She was staring out the window of their SUV
Complaining, saying "I can't wait to turn 18"
She said "I'll make my own money, and I'll make my own rules"
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
Then she kissed her head and said "I was just like you"

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

Before she knows it she's a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her "It's a nice place"
She says "It'll do for now"
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says, "Baby, just slow down,

Cause you're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this."

Five years later there's a plumber workin' on the water heater
Dog's barkin', phone's ringin'
One kid's cryin', one kid's screamin'
And she keeps apologizin'
He says, "They don't bother me,
I've got two babies of my own.
One's 36, one's 23.
Huh, it's hard to believe, but...

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this."


Every day spent with you is a gift and sometimes, I get going a little too fast and need to remember to enjoy this, because I know I'm going to miss it.

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who Cares If Your Baby Is On Track?

A mommy can drive herself crazy getting caught up in the developmental milestones a baby is suppose to reach and when they are suppose to reach them. I am guilty and I am so mad at myself.

After yesterday's post on Lucas' seventh month accomplishments, I made the mistake of digging around on the Internet (Baby Center, What To Expect, WebMD, Parents Magazine, etc.) and found several lists of these so-called benchmarks. I'm a sucker for lists, but as I consulted each one, not only were they different from the last, but they included items that Lucas hasn't mastered yet, or in some cases even attempted. And that's when the guilt and head spinning set in... am I doing something wrong, is there something wrong with my baby, will he ever scoot, get up on all fours, crawl, eat solid foods, etc. etc. I must be a terrible parent if he's not doing what the "lists" say he should, right? What exactly is the difference between gross motor skills and fine motor skills anyway?!?

Whoa! Time for a deep, deep breath....

Luckily, I'm smart enough to know that each baby is unique and that these charts are only meant to serve as a guideline, not an end all be all of child rearing or infant development. The most important thing to me is that you are happy and I have no doubt about that! The rest, the milestones so to speak, will all come in due time.

The best is yet to be.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Seven Months

Today you are seven months old and I know I say it every month, but I can't believe how fast the months are flying by.... I continue to be amazed by you, all that you are learning; and watching you grow.

Your seventh month was an exciting one, as we celebrated your very first Christmas holiday and you reached all of these wonderful milestones, too:
  • Your piercing screaming has been replaced with "ba-ba", "da-da", "ma-ma" sounds, thank goodness. I love hearing you talk to yourself early in morning when you wake up.
  • You are mastering the art of the major meltdown whenever I am out of sight. I think it's separation anxiety and is completely normal, but it definitely tugs at the heartstrings and frays the nerves.
  • You are sort of enjoying cereal once a day, but I'd love to get you eating more solids, more often. So far, we have tried sweet potatoes, stewed carrots, butternut squash and apples and you wanted no part of any of of them. Well, you like gnawing on the apples, but they are very slippery for your little fingers. The bottle seems to be your food of choice and just way too easy for you. We need to work on that. I'm open to suggestions....
  • After being away for a week over the holiday and in the same guest room with us, you are finally back to sleeping through the night!
  • You suffered through your first cold and ear infection. :(
  • You love to sit up in your strollers and the more we can keep you off your head, the better!
  • You are thriving in your physical therapy sessions for a mild case of torticollis.
  • You are learning to get around by rolling and scooting...backwards. No crawling yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
  • You can sit up unassisted, but it makes me a little nervous, as you have had a couple of bonks to the head. Practice makes perfect.
  • Your top two teeth are on their way and one is visible.
  • Your eyes are still blue. :)
The best is yet to be.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Been Caught Stealing

One of my favorite Web sites is Diapers.com, who claim to have "the best deal on diapers and much more" and I've done the math and on the items we use on a daily basis, they do! Every order over $49.00 is free of shipping costs and there is no sales tax, plus they accept other manufacturer's coupons. It's super convenient, super quick and they carry everything! I got my Skip Hop diaper bag from there and several classic children's books and even pjs. I placed my umpteenth order this morning for staples: formula, wipes, laundry detergent and yes, diapers. It will arrive on my door step tomorrow morning. How great is that?

Somewhat related....not really, but go with it....

I just read an article that stated that baby formula was now being kept under lock and key in some drug and grocery stores and it made me so sad, but at $10.99 - $50.00 per can, I get it. Breast milk is free, but if your baby didn't take to your breast or was dehydrated and needed a supplement when they were born, like Lucas, you have no choice but to go the formula route. I suppose a parent will do whatever it takes to feed their baby, even if it means shoplift.

The Food Marketing Institute maintains a list of the 50 most shoplifted items and while the number one most shoplifted item is a 50 count packet of Advil, Similac makes the list three times. A case of Similac with iron formula ranks #7 on the top 50 most shoplifted items while a single can of Similac with iron ranks number #8. Similac concentrate with iron ranks #21 on the list.

Why are people stealing infant formula? Is the formula being used for infants? Are parents going to extremes to feed their babies? According to the article, the answer is yes and no. Believe it or not, there is a black market out there for baby formula. The item can be stolen and sold to a mom in need for half the retail price. This does happen but it is not the most common use.

Infant formula is often used in the drug world. Drug dealers use powdered baby formula to cut the strength of cocaine and heroin, "the popular powdered baby formula is primarily used to dilute heroin and methamphetamine or to stretch the product when supplies run low. The consistency and the way it looks is what makes it a good cutting agent" Infant formula is non-toxic and relatively safe to cut with any number of drugs. The article also said that street gangs were using baby formula containers to conceal illegal drugs. Great!

I'm going to stick to Diapers.com for my formula needs.

The best is yet to be.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

LA 'n' LA

To document her adventures in Los Angeles, Leah has started her very own blog, LA 'n' LA. I can't wait to read about her new life in the City of Angels.

I am also looking forward to getting to know LA better myself. From what little time I have spent there, I haven't been very impressed. After graduating from college, your dad lived in Brentwood (a neighborhood in west LA) for 10 years and loved it and would probably move back in a heartbeat if I was on board. He says it's because of the anonymity the city offers offers and the endless options. I, on the other hand, have always felt that it was too congested, full of horrific traffic and shallow people, but I'm keeping an open mind and can't wait to experience a different side of LA from the view point of a frequent visitor. :)

Leah included this Frank Lloyd Wright quote in her first blog posting: Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles and I like it! I am so happy that she has landed there. All the best, Leah. xoxo

The best is yet to be.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Moving Day

Last night my sister arrived in San Diego with her 10' moving truck in tow and today I helped her move into her new house in LA....sort of.

It was a very long, hot and frustrating day that didn't start off the way either of us had planned; but when is moving day ever fun?

Her best guy friend was kind enough to drive her U-Haul out here from Phoenix while she followed in her car and he was going help us unload it, but he unfortunately had a rough night last night (I'll just leave it at that...and no, he wasn't over served) and needed to fly home this morning. Your dad, still recovering from his ankle sprain stayed home with you and so, that left Leah and me.

I got to drive the U-Haul, which was super fun, but once in LA and knowing full well that we couldn't get her bed, enormous desk, dining room table, or heck, even TV up the two flights of stairs by ourselves, we did what any two savvy women would do and hired two beefy hombres from a Home Depot parking lot. I am 100% confident that we over paid for Ivan and Orlando's help, but who cares, the entire truck was unloaded in under 90 minutes. Oh, and they put her bed together too. Bonus!! I don't know what we would have done without our handy helpers, God bless them.

I think Leah is second guessing her decision to move to southern California, but I hope it's only because today was so stressful and she is running on empty. I hope that she soon realizes that it will take a good 30 days or so to learn her way around her new neighborhood and that before she knows it, things won't seem so foreign. I am super excited for her LA adventure to begin, for her to land a fabulous new job and make new friends. I applaud her for making this move and am thrilled to have her closer.

Leah's new place is great and so are her roommates, who thankfully made themselves scarce while we (I mean, our new friends) moved in.

Once Leah gets settled in, I look forward to taking you to visit her in her new digs.

The best is yet to be.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010

2010?! Boy, does that sound weird. I love a new year and I am really looking forward to starting a whole new decade.

I do have a short list of some of my new year's resolutions. I rarely enter into a new year without them and they are different each year. What can I say, I'm a realist; if I can't or don't do it, I remove it from the list! I am usually successful though. :) This year, I vow to:
  • Start reading again, at least one hour a day. Oh, how I miss it!
  • Work out with a trainer twice a week and walk on my own four to five days a week on the quest to get my biscuit back in shape. I am off to a great start on this one; having already walked nine miles in 2010 so far.
  • Start working on baby #2 (scary thought!).
  • Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, preferably with you in the BOB.
  • Use a cloth bag every. single. time. I go to the grocery store. Incidentally, this was my gift to all of my girlfriends this Christmas.
  • Organize our photos into album, boxes, frames, zip lock bags--something, anything just as long as they aren't in piles.
  • Learn to live without so many magazines in my life. So far, I have already let five of my 10 subscriptions go. Yay for me! I should be reading books anyway.
  • Spend more time in the kitchen cooking (AKA learn to cook). I have collected yummy sounding recipes for years and it is time to try them out.
I am also really looking forward to my sister moving to Los Angeles (today!), selling our parents house (fingers crossed), our trip to Australia and New Caledonia in April and continuing to watch you grow and flourish.

I wish you and yours a wonderful new year filled with much love, laughter, prosperity and vibrant health.

The best is most certainly yet to be.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Imagine The Possibilities!

A simple and beautiful thought for New Year's Day:


The best is yet to be.

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