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Monthly Archives: May 2012

What I Look At & Shrimp Lessons

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In a previous blog post we highlighted a few things that Mason loves to look at ie: ceiling fans and our dog Ruby. The new list still includes his favorites from before but you should know, just like Mason, the list it has grown.

We’ve learned that Mason loves looking with Elaine’s black hair tie, her daily journal, his reflection in the mirror, food, and trains. Trains, trains, trains!

For those that haven’t been to our house, there are train tracks on the other side of our street and the rails are constantly used for freight and Amtrak. Speaking for myself, they come so often that they are almost back ground noise. However whenever Mason hears one his head whips around and he watches it disappear through our window. What’s funny is that he does it with no expression- not scared, not happy, not surprised, and not sad- just one blank stare. Once the train has left, he quietly resumes his activity.

Food is also a big watching game. Over the past few weeks Mason has stepped up his eating and now has covered peas, carrots, butter nut squash, and green beans. We’ve had fun making his food and for the most part he’s enjoyed eating it. Sweet potato still tops the list but the new combo of red potatoes and carrots is a winner too. But this post isn’t about Mason’s diet, it is about him watching us eat. He now starts to get a little fussy if he isn’t eating when we are. Family meals are going strong in our house right now.

Mason has some great eyes and he is soaking up our world.


A couple weeks ago Mason started a once a week swimming lesson at the YMCA. His beginner class is entitled Shrimp/Kipper. For me shrimp is more fun because I had no idea what a kipper was until I googled it. I think we were both a little nervous about the class because Mason barely likes his 5 minute bath and we didn’t know how his skin would do in the chlorine. Our worries were met with baby smiles, laughs, and giggles. He loves it and it is fun to see him have fun in the water as we sing songs and float him as he kicks and paddles down the length of the pool. It’s crazy how instinctual the swimming motions are for babies and how I have a hard time trying to float… but that’s another story.

Unfortunately they don’t allow us to take photos (privacy) but we did get this one in the locker room.


Here is a slideshow of some more photos from the last week… enjoy and thanks for reading!

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Just a Few

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We can now officially see the very tip of a new top tooth breaking the surface of our little one’s sore little gums.  One more tooth to add to the set, along with more realistic hopes of decent sleep in the not too far future.

He’s much more protective of this one.  It was no problem to pull his bottom lip down while the last two were coming in and take a peek.  This time Mason purses his lips whenever we try and peer in at that new top tooth.  And NO ONE is getting in there!

And a mobility update… Mason is not crawling… and I have zero predictions for when it will actually happen… but he is scooting a bit.  Usually backwards.  And he rotates like a champion.  And he’s just started figuring out in these past few weeks that his hands are part of this process of moving himself at will.  He’s using them more to lift and reposition himself, and plants them far out in front of him in the direction of some toy or ahem, iphone… that he’s hoping to get to.  He just hasn’t figured out how to add his knees into the equation.  And alas, his little arms are not strong enough to propel the rest of him forward without some help!

And I LOVE this… Mason’s hair is growing more every week… and most of it is distributed along the middle of his head 😉  Our child is growing a tiny mohawk.  It’s pretty adorable and hilarious, simultaneously.

As always… the days are long and the weeks are short.  In good ways and in tiresome ways.  This guy is almost 8 months.  He’s three quarters of the way to his first birthday.  I can hardly even believe it.  It really is all going to happen in the blink of an eye isn’t it?

I remember buying a couple 12 month outfits back before he was even born, just for kicks, because I knew we already had a ton of smaller baby clothes.  I bought them, and tucked them away in a bottom drawer.  12 months seemed so far away then.  It hasn’t been 12 months yet… but he’s definitely already in most of those clothes.  It’s sneaks up on you.

Look at this cutie!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Today we celebrated Mother’s Day briefly before Elaine had to go into work. To no one’s surprise her personalized breakfast request was pretty specific and had nothing to do with cereal. To be specific her request was- crunchy red potato tacos with soyrizo, wilted spinach with tomatoes and fennel, decaf coffee, and freshly squeezed navel and blood oranges. It was quite a meal and fun to make for a wonderful mother.

For the last year plus she has been taking care of Mason and while it has been amazing to watch him grow; it has also been inspiring to watch Elaine grow as a mother. She is always up for the challenge, no matter if it is a 2am diaper change, cooking during nap time, reading the same book for the millionth time, or sacrificing her diet to benefit Mason’s skin allergies. With all of these changes Elaine has become the expert of not enough sleep, tasty meal creation to meet her and my dietary restrictions, and finding the bright spots during hard days.

I’ve never voiced this, but my only initial concern of this mothering thing was how she was going to respond to the 2am diapers, unpredictable mornings, and huge schedule change. You see Elaine loves to sleep… On the weekends before Mason came around I’d wake up around 7am and eat a first breakfast and then try to wake up Elaine around 9am. It usually wouldn’t work so I’d try to lour her out of bed with a fun breakfast (or my second breakfast or even lunch). There were times that she would jump out of bed but there also times that her breakfast would be served at 11:30am. From what I hear from Elaine and others is that often noon would be the start of the day.

You now understand my initial concern. However in real life the mornings and late night interruptions aren’t a problem at all. It would be safe to say that we both hear him in the middle of the night and both stall to see if the other person will get up first. I’ll do my share and stumble down the hall, but most of the time it is Elaine, a champion with no grumbles.

Elaine also loves the good times too. It is obvious to see that she treasures the snuggles Mason gives her and the joy after every smile that is directed towards her. Elaine is a very transparent mother, an honest one and one that loves her baby very, very much.

I’ve learned a lot from her and Mason will too- how to dance, cook and eat good food, and how to love.

Happy Mother’s Day to you Elaine and to all of the other great Mothers out there.
Love, Mark

Geocaching on a Saturday Morning

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We had a mini Santa Barbara adventure last Saturday, that I’ve been meaning to write about all week!

Have you ever heard of Geocaching?  I’ve been wanting to try this out for months, ever since I first read about it on another blog, and we finally decided to make a morning out of it.  Geocaching is basically a world-wide scavenger hunt.  The hidden objects are called “caches”.  And except for the mini ones, they’re boxes that people have put little trinkets inside and hidden in varying degrees of difficulty in terrain and findability.  If you take something from the box, you have to leave something also.  We hunted for a cache in Elings Park with a difficulty rating of 2 out of 5.  The search took us on a great, scenic little hike through the park, and landed me with a cracker jacks prize type ring.  There are dozens hidden in Santa Barbara, and more all over the world.  The blogger that I first heard about this from said that her family tries to do them on vacations, as a totally unique way to explore a different side of a new city.  You should absolutely look it up!  And please tell us if you do one!

It was a gorgeous day, and we rounded out the hike through the park by crashing a soccer game on the lower fields, and treating ourselves to a mango on a stick, sprinkled lemon juice, salt and chili powder.

Mason cruised along in the Ergo, snoozed for a bit on our walk, and woke up near the end to enjoy a bit of mango, sans chile of course.

Sunday Funday

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Sunday Funday.

Unfortunately Elaine has missed out on part of  the day- Work is never a fun thing; especially when the weather is nice and housework can be ignored.

After Mason work up from his morning nap we went to Willowglen Park for Luke’s 3rd birthday part (Nicole & Bret’s son’s). The party was a hit and as a bonus Mason got his first tie dye as a party favor. He is a lucky dude and will proudly wear the tie dye as a true California hippie kid.

After the birthday party we decided to go to Hendry’s Beach for a stroll. Unfortunately most of Santa Barbara decided to do the same thing and it forced us to drive across the street for a parking spot. However as soon as I hit the sand I quickly forgot about the parking issue and small crowds of people. Mason had fun looking out from his carrier to the ocean and staring at the waves coming in and about mid way fell asleep. I continued walking, breathing, and kept an eye out for sea life- not much to report back other than a jellyfish that washed up on the shore.

I needed that time. Some quiet, sun, waves, toes in the sand, and just me time. Work has been pretty bad over the last two weeks and a beach walk really helped me slow down and breath.

While we were there we snapped some photos…

Once we got home the afternoon was filled with sweet potatoes, belly time, toys, some bouncing, and now nap time. Vegan enchiladas is on the menu for tonight- wish me luck!

Food battle

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Avocado has some serious competition… hello sweet potato!



Here to Redeem My Blogging Reputation

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I have been put to shame over the past month and a half… by my husband’s stellar blogging rituals and my utter and complete absence.  I have no excuse.  My mind (and my typing fingers) have been elsewhere.  But I’m here to redeem myself!

I have only little glimpses of recent happenings to offer… but my meager contribution is merely me gathering steam.  Just you wait.  I will be blogging more from now on!


Bootlegger Brewery

was how we toasted to our ONE YEAR anniversary this past Monday!  I can hardly believe a year has already passed since we were dancing on the rooftop of Santa Barbara’s Canary hotel with many of you.  Oh the mind reels when I think of all that has happened and all that has changed since then.  How different life was only a year ago.  We have a date day coming up in addition, but Monday night we celebrated with take out thai food, a scrumptious seasonal brew (thanks Kelley!!), and a movie on netflix while the baby snoozed away in his crib.  Married life has treated us well 😀


Mason and I also took a quick trip down to Orange County last week.  Just for kicks.  We had a blast hanging with the grandparents, the aunties, uncle and the cousins (Mason’s, of course).  We took a couple walks to and from the Orange circle, Mason in the Ergo pack.  First with cousin/neice/goddaughter Natalee, singing made up songs and holding hands across the streets.  And then with my Ker Bear and Jules (who’s long awaited DC voyage was delayed yet again by a busted car), and talked about all manner of things from religion to Disney characters to OC architecture 😉  Good times girls.  Good times.  We even got in on a very belated Christmas celebration.


And photos can never quite capture the gorgeousness that we see with our own eyes… but I had to catch my breath right before I went to bed that night, because I really believe that my baby is among the most breathtakingly beautiful things that I have ever seen.


So now tonight, it’s time for all of us to sleep.  Mason has a headstart on us.  And Ruby spent most of the evening catching z’s in our bed while Mark and I hung out in the living room.  So goodnight to everyone.  Or good morning or afternoon, depending on when you read this.

And a couple more sweet pictures from today, just because.



….ps…. it blows my mind, that tomorrow, Mason will be SEVEN MONTHS OLD!