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Monthly Archives: November 2011

November Twenty Nine ::part 2::

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Just another little itty bitty birthday note…

As I think over my past few birthdays, so much has changed over the years.  All of my recent birthdays have been so very different, and so very wonderful in different ways.  All have been filled with friends and family and lots and lots of love.  I am beyond grateful for every single event that has brought me to this birthday today; joyful and tearful, silly and stressful, confusing and drenched with clarity.  To spend my month learning, experiencing and embarking on new adventures big and small.  To spend such precious time with the people I love most in the world.  What a crazy, amazing, whirlwind of a year!  I cannot fathom how it’s even possible to express how in love with my life I am right now.


November Twenty Nine ::part 1::

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Guess who got the most amazing birthday gift that a little almost two month old baby could ever give his momma…. Can you guess….? I’ll give you a hint… communal naptime picture the light gone from the sky… compare with our normal expectations… Last night was a very good night! We slept four hours straight! last hint…. sleeping mason

yes siree!

We got NINE uninterrupted hours of sleep last night!

We actually woke up in the morning before he did!

With that fantastic morning discovery, and sweet birthday whispers from my wonderful husband… such loveliness to wake up to, hmm?

And after some breakfast for both Mason and I… he’s even now, smiling in his sleep during an abnormally long morning nap.

Other birthday excitements (I feel like my sister Kelley 😀 who likes to celebrate her birthday all month long!):

  • Friends coming to bring me a highly anticipated Tupelo Junction lunch this afternoon
  • A birthday package arriving in the mail sometime soon, the contents of which Mark is keeping a secret
  • Some wearable, smellable and cook withable family gifts to enjoy
  • Memories of a recent friend birthday dinner at a very delicious vegan restaurant here in Santa Barbara, Adama (butternut squash lasagna… mmm).
  • And Friday night’s first date night since Mason was born (more on The Melting Pot in a different post)!

        ……… sleepBirthday Me

A Season of Thanks

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With most of Thanksgiving weekend already digested I wanted to take time to spread my thanks to those people/animals/and plants that help make my world a beautiful place to live. I’ve found myself thinking about work while I was working on this blog entry. Every night we do a house meeting where we ask the youth in our program to identify at least one appreciation in their life. House meeting is one of my favorite groups that we do in the shelter and whenever I participate it usually runs something like this…

Me: I appreciate my family..
Teenager: What about me?
Me: Of course I appreciate you. Friends, music, the moon, animals..
Teenager: What about spiders? I hate spiders.
Me: Yeah spiders are our friends. Without spiders we’d have millions of other bugs around our house. Now where was I.. I appreciate the sunrise, a nice cup of coffee, lilies, good food..
Teenager: Eww you like tofu. Tofu is gross. You have too many appreciations.
Me: Yes, I like good food and this is just the start of my list. I appreciate my bike, indoor plumbing, a roof over my head, and the beach. I also appreciate everyone around the table and people who used to eat dinner here too.
Teenager: Your list is too long.

Yes, my list is long and I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a beautiful, healthy baby who is full of smiles almost every morning. I have a wonderful, supportive, beautiful wife who in the last few months has turned into a nurturing, loving, and creative mother. I have two amazing parents and inspiring grand parents. I am apart of two very loving extended families. I have an incredible friend support system. I love my job (98% of the time). I live in an extremely beautiful part of the world. I am safe, have good food around me, am warm at night, feel loved, trust others, and feel like I’m making a difference in my part of the world.

This is a good place in life.
Enjoy and may your Thanksgiving be year-round

Win, Win, Fail

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So I forgot to mention in the 6 week update, that we got homework of sorts.  Along with finding out Mason’s new size stats, that he’s a fantastically healthy boy, and talking about upcoming immunizations… our pediatrician told us about a few fun developmental things we could start doing with him.

  1. Tummy time, three times a day, which is supposed to help him develop his neck and leg muscles, and prepare him in pushing up, rolling over, sitting up, and crawling.
  2. Baby Massage, which is supposed to have all the wonderful stimulating and soothing effects that it has on adults.
  3. and Reading to him!  She suggested books with lots of colors and pictures, and said that he probably wouldn’t seem like he’s paying much attention at first… but eventually would start focusing on the pictures, waiting for the page turns, and hopefully develop a love for books.

We’ve been a little spotty about putting these things into practice, but have done at least one each day since his doctor’s appointment.

Mark already posted up a video of our little one working out his neck muscles, but here’s a couple more photos.

Tummy Time

Family Tummy Time

Of course any child of mine would HAVE to enjoy massage, plus, super easy to do anytime.

Baby Massage

and TODAY I brought out the books!  I was so excited… picked out three little board books.  Brought Mason to the couch with   Started with a really pretty, colorful one called “I My Nest” by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich.

In My Nest - Sara Gillingham & Lorena Siminovich, Guess How Much I Love You - Sam McBratney, Bee Board Book

However… this is what happened for several minutes when I attempted our story time.

Reading Time

In summary…

Tummy Time: WIN

Baby Massage: WIN

Reading: FAIL

Bum-mer!… hopefully next time he’ll enjoy story time a bit more…

Creating Things

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Other than a portion of a sleepless night last night this has been a great weekend. Elaine and I have been productive but we’ve also had our share of down time. We’ve been crossing projects off of our list, creating lists of things to do next, and catching up on Glee, Grimm, and The Daily Show. We even watched part of a movie! We get our share of 30-40 minutes shows in, but we haven’t seen a movie since our BabyMoon in August. I am no movie critic but my advice is that Crazy, Stupid, Love is much better than Gnomeo & Juliet.

Okay my hope was to post a few videos of Mason… but I can’t figure out how to do it.  Oh, they want you to pay money to load videos- that is stupid but I’ll find a way to get around it 🙂

That was quick! Click on the links below to see three short videos (thank you Elaine):

Tummy Time!

First Bottle! Preparing for Elaine return to work in December

Baby on the Bed!

The videos have been fun to make and I hope they work for everyone. I shot them with an app (8mm Vintage Camera) that has a few vintage film options. There are different lenses and affects and it has been fun to experiment with Mason as our guinea pig. Please let me know if there are any issues.

We’ve also had a good food weekend and here are our samples:

On Friday I made applesauce from fruit we picked at our friend’s Christina’s ranch last weekend. I have no idea the types of apples but they were fresh and colorful. After the mixture cooked down and sampled, the finished product was canned for a later time.







On Saturday I made Butternut Squash & Carrot soup. It wasn’t my first time experimenting with the tough to peel butternut but this soup is my favorite squash soup recipe.








Saturday night was homemade pizza night. Ours included onions, garlic, mushrooms, & artichokes on an herb crust and topped with a cheddar/toscana cheese blend. One of my all-time favorites




It’s a rainy day today and our plans are joyfully limited. I imagine that we will make the best of it with a few more recipes, a nice cup of tea, and a visit to the library. Thanks for reading. Love, Mark

Quick 6 Week Update

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baby traveling

So we took our little man to his 6 week appointment today and listen to this… he has gained a whopping 3 pounds and 7 ounces since his last appointment (one month ago) and grown 2 1/2 inches!   Which places him at…

  • 12 pounds, 5 ounces
  • 23 inches
  • head circumference of 15 1/2 inches

He’s growing so fast!!  Our pediatrician, Dr. Hamdani, said that he’s looking very healthy.  We’re going to start vaccinations at his next appointment a month from now which will keep him nice and healthy, but I may cry to see multiple needles being poked into my baby’s poor little legs 😦

little man

So now, being that it’s Mark’s “Friday”… we’re soaking in some evening couch time, with our snoozing baby, a big bowl of popcorn and Ruby sitting at our feet eagerly and hopefully awaiting a dropped (or tossed) popcorn snack.

So glad it’s the weekend!

    Ruby waiting for popcorn

It’s Official

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Though they’re hard to catch on camera… we have a plethora of baby smiles!

Baby Smiles collage