flashback friday : happy birthday baby

It’s been awhile since A) I posted & B) did a Flashback Friday. I’ve missed blogging, but with my 2 boys, it’s really last on my list of priorities. But I thought that I would come out of my blogging hibernation & do a post in honor of my baby big boy Benjamin.

Today he turns 2. Wow! Really?? When did this happen?

It really doesn’t seem like long ago when we took this picture. I was totally exhausted but so in love with my sweet boy.

It’s been 2 years full of  constant surprises, fun, love, laughing, & lots of learning (on both our parts). I am continuously amazed with the gift that God has given me.

Happy Birthday love.

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flashback friday

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Time for Flashback Friday! Thought I’d finally do one again since it’s been awhile.

Nathaniel, Benjamin & I.

I’m pretty sure we’re all somewhere around 15-18 months in these photos. I think it’s pretty obvious that for the most part Benjamin totally looks like me, but really, some of his features just stump me. I still have a hard time figuring out where some of his looks & facial expressions come from. I think both of the men in my life are pretty darn cute *ahem* handsome.

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For more Flashbacks check out Christopher & Tia’s Blog.

manic monday

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Are you ready for our Manic Monday?

Benjamin has been on this kick where he wakes up early & hangs out in bed with mama & papa every morning. My Monday morning started with some pounding on the head & some little kisses at about 7:15 a.m., quite a bit earlier than I was hoping. I tried to resist his wake up call, but since it was early I figured we’d get started on our busy day.

We did a Joann’s trip followed by Target, the Post Office & Pay-Less (not pictured, but pretty much the same). We tried to make it to the grocery store too, but sleep was calling Benjamin’s name (thanks to his early wake up call) so we headed home.

I had a nice time relaxing & getting some much needed crochet time in. I’ve been trying to finish this blanket for months & it’s finally almost done.

Nap time didn’t last forever & Benjamin eventually woke up after a couple of hours ready to play & take some super cute pictures!

After some playtime we headed out to the way-too-busy-post-office, best part was that I wore Benjamin in my ring sling on my back & he LOVED that. Too bad that was probably the last time, he’s getting a little too heavy for pregnant me to carry for too long.

After running to the grocery store for potato salad supplies papa was was home & gave Benjamin a bath. The best part of his day is usually after his bath where he gets a little naked time. haha He chose to spend it curled relaxing on our IKEA chair with is two pals; his pacifier & his blanket.

For dinner I made some awesome potato salad using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe & slightly tweaking it. Boy, was it good! Benjamin got some spoon practice in with his apple sauce & did much better than I expected. Up until this point we’ve done very little with the spoon & most stuff with just our fingers. He was exhausted by the end of the day & went down for bedtime perfectly.

The best part of my night-making some homemade biscuits. So yummy. The rest of my night was pretty uneventful & ended with me falling asleep on the couch.

And here’s yet another, Manic Monday. For more Manic Monday’s check out Mommy Elephant’s Everyday Adventures blog!

Manic Monday

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It’s another Manic Monday at Mommy Elephants Everyday Adventures Blog.

It’s been a busy couple of days so I am finally getting around to posting my Manic Monday. It was such a freakin rad day!

Here’s my favorite boy all bundled up & ready for his nap.

While Benjamin was napping I got reacquainted with my Kitchen Aide mixer & whipped up a batch of Sunflower Seed Butter & Banana muffins (with a little cauliflower hidden in there). They turned out sooo good!

I made Yogurt Pops with mixed berries & vanilla yogurt & was so excited for Benjamin to try them at lunch. I thought he’d have a great time eating it.

I was just slightly wrong about that…He liked it, but I think it was just a bit too cold. He spent more time rubbing it on his high chair tray than actually eating it. Oh well! More for me & the hubs.

After lunch my BFF Hannah came into town so we went for a walk in Balboa Park-my absolute FAVORITE place in the city.

After picking up my hubs we ate an amazing dinner at Ranchos Mexican & Vegetarian Cuisine in North Park that I failed to take any pictures of. The restaurant is awesome & they have so much great food. If you’re a vegetarian (or just like good mexican) check them out when you’re in San Diego.

We ended the night at my favorite North Park coffee shop, Claire De Lune, with a fabulous cup of tea & some good conversation…and a little boy that ran around the whole place charming the pants off of people.

Good day…

Manic Monday

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It’s another Manic Monday at Mommy Elephants Everyday Adventures Blog.

Apparently Benjamin & I were extremely exhausted from a busy Sunday because when I woke up at 9:45 my baby boy was still asleep!

After a yummy breakfast we spent some time playing and acting silly.

Benjamin had a Sunflower Seed Butter & Boysenberry Jam sandwich for lunch. I love messy food faces.

We bought the book Deceptively Delicious on Sunday & I was so excited to try out the Peanut Butter & Banana muffin recipe. I replace the Peanut Butter with Sunflower Seed butter since we don’t eat peanuts in our house. They came out amazing! Both the hubby & the baby boy love them, too.

I did a little photo shoot since I actually curled my hair & did my makeup. Love feeling put together.

Yo Gabba Gabba is a current favorite in our home & as soon as I even mention turning it on Benjamin runs to his rocking chair to sit down & starts clapping his hands. I love the excitement on his face!

For dinner I used another Deceptively Delicious recipe & made lasagna, which the hubby LOVED. I felt very domestic today.

We ended the night with some couch time & watching the end of Invictus, which even though I fell asleep for a couple of minutes, I really loved.

Flashback Friday

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It’s that time again! Flashback Friday hosted by Christopher & Tia. Check it out & join the fun!

Lately I’ve been looking at my baby boy & have been shocked by the realization that he’s transforming from my baby boy to my little toddler right in front of my eyes. I was looking at the above bath pictures from just over a year ago & from just a week ago & i’m completely amazed. When did he get so big? *sigh*

Manic Monday

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It’s my first Manic Monday! The deal is that all day Monday I’m going to take photos of whatever I do, which will basically be whatever Benjamin is doing. 🙂 It’s something that I’ve seen over at Sarah’s blog for quite some time & I’m finally getting around to joining. So here it goes…

Benjamin woke up in quite a silly mood this morning. after getting ready we went to breakfast with Great Grandpa Jim, Great Grandma Betty, Aunt Christina & Madelyn. It was so much fun, I love having family in town!

After breakfast we got on our way to Moorpark to visit Grandma Joyce & Grandpa John for a few days.

Benjamin made himself at home at Grandma & Grandpa’s. While I went outside I left him in the house with family & when I walked back in nobody seemed to know where he was. I knew he couldn’t have gone far so after checking the rooms one more time I checked the back yard again & there he was! Apparently he took advantage of the fact that everyone thought someone else was watching him & snuck out through the doggy door. Must be nice to be so small.

Soon enough it was back for some car time. We drove up to Carpenteria to take Great Grandma Betty to visit her aunt for the week.

Benjamin discovered his old swing today & decided that he wanted to spend a little time in it. I can’t believe he actually fit in it before!

After dinner it was time for one more outing for the night.

We tried on some See Kai Run shoes at the mall. As soon as I pick which ones I want I’m placing my order! He looked so cute in them.

And now here we are at Grandma & Grandpa’s. When we got home Benjamin was out! Unfortunately, our dogs woke him up! *sigh*

My Manic Monday is definitely not over. Hope it doesn’t last too much longer! Until next week…

Flashback Friday

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When I married my husband I not only gained an amazing family, but I gained an amazingly awesome close group of friends. My husband’s 2 best friends happen to have wives that I am blessed to call 2 of my best friends. We joke that our hubby’s would’ve never been able to get married if the 3 of us didn’t like each other.

Here we are in July 2007; Jamie, Me & Sherrie.

Jamie had been married about about 2 years, me for 1 year & Sherrie was about 3 months away from her wedding day. We were childless at the time, but that would soon change when in November of that year I found out I was pregnant. Unfortunately about a month & a half later I miscarried. Even in the midst of  going through that I was able to rejoice & be excited for Jamie because she found out that she was pregnant! About 3 months later Jamie, Sherrie & the hubbys came to visit us in San Diego & Sherrie burst into the house so excited to let us know that she was pregnant, too! And just 3 months after that while eating lunch with everyone my hubby let it drop in a prayer that we were pregnant. It was seriously one of the most awesome experiences to be pregnant at the same time as my friends knowing that we’d be able to raise our kids together, especially since we were all expecting boys!

Fast forward to March 20, 2010. Here we are just 2 days after Benjamin was born right after I got home from the hospital.

While most moms might want to be alone just hours after getting home I was more than excited for my friends to come over so our boys could meet! Corban was 6 months old, Benjamin 2 days old & Harvey 3 months old. Over the next year we spent a lot of time together! Our boys are definitely BFF’s, whether they like it or not. haha.

And now, here we are with our little men on March 20, 2010 at Benjamin’s birthday party.

Corban is 18 months, Benjamin 1 year & Harvey 15 months. They are all such blessings to be around & each one has such a fun personality. I cannot wait to see how they are going to surprise us & push us over the coming year.

I love my friends & our boys & am so thankful for them.

10 things i love sunday.

this week i’m trying something new. every sunday i’m going to try to post about 10 things that i love. it might be 10 things that happened from the past week that i loved, 10 places i love, 10 things that caught my eye, 10 favorites; books, movies, quotes, etc.,…the possibilities are endless.

this week i thought i’d start pretty simply & tell you things that i love that might give you a better insight about me.

1)God.

I am a Christian, I love Jesus Christ & believe he is my Lord & Savior. I have been going to church as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I actually made a commitment to following Jesus and putting my faith in Him. It’s the most important decision that I’ve ever made & He hasn’t let me down. I believe in loving people like Jesus did, I strive to do that daily. I don’t believe that “church” is just something to do on Sundays, it’s a body of people loving & living in community.

2)Nathaniel.

I met my best friend & husband in March of 2004. At the time I was hung up on someone else & he didn’t even remember my name. Little did I know that by August of that year he’d be asking me to be his girlfriend. I was 22 years old & he was my first boyfriend & the only man I’ve ever kissed. After a year & 4 months of dating he asked my dad if he could marry me & proposed on Christmas Eve. Almost exactly 5 months later we had our Converse inspired wedding & were married in Malibu, California. Since then we’ve: moved from Orange County to San Diego to Ventura County & then back to Orange County, we’ve experienced one miscarriage & shared the joy of the birth of our beautiful Benjamin, Nate graduated from SDSU, and we’ve had so much fun along the way. Can’t wait to see where God takes us next!

On our wedding day-May 28, 2006

Our first snow together! Just last month!

3)Benjamin.

A little over 11 months ago my baby boy came into this world & changed my life completely.

I know it’s cliche, but I really didn’t think that I could love anyone as much as I love him. He amazes & surprises me everyday. He’s your typical “boy”; rough, adventurous, and fearless. He loves to climb up & down the stairs, get down off the bed himself, crawl around like a madman, play outside in the dirt, eat everything & spend as much time in the water as possible. He started walking recently, too, which I’m sure will bring a whole other kind of fun! I would have never thought that I could have so much fun with a boy. haha.

4)Tattoos.

I got my first tattoo in April of 2004; the word “Love” on my left wrist. I had been writing in on my wrist off & on for about 4 years before I finally got it done. I got it as a reminder that I constantly need to love like Christ loves.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

My second tattoo I started in February in 2007 and finished in February of 2008. It had been an idea that I had been throwing back in forth for a few years & was finally ready to commit to it. It was not my intention to get it as big as I did, the span of my whole upper back, but when I saw it after the stencil was put on I couldn’t imagine it any smaller. It took about 6 hours total & was done in 3 sessions; 1-Outline, 2-shading & some color, 3-finish color. Until childbirth, it was the most pain that I had ever gone through. Getting my spine tattooed was something I really couldn’t prepare myself for. Totally worth the pain, though! I only wish that I could see it more often. Sometimes I forget it’s there!

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

My third tattoo I started in March of 2008. It is a memorial tattoo to my Grandma; a woman that I love, admired, and respected so much. She died in July of 2003 & I miss her everyday. Her love for her family & her faith in Christ are examples that I strive towards daily. She loved doves so my idea started with just getting one dove tattooed on me & developed into what it is now, with roses & a banner that reads “faith”. The writing in the banner is actually my grandma’s, which makes it extra special to me. I have yet to finish it because of pregnancy, but mostly money. I can’t wait until it’s all colored one day!

5)Davy Jones.

Oh, how I love my dog. We adopted him in August of 2007 from an animal shelter. We really wanted to  rescue a dog & we really wanted a Jack Russell & thankfully we got both. We were so excited to find him! He loves people, is pretty well behaved, & was already potty trained…what more could we ask for?! Unfortunately he was just almost perfect. Like a lot of rescue dogs he came with a past that we know very little about & he is a pretty aggressive boy when it comes to hanging out with other dogs. It has made life interesting & difficult & i definitely have my days where i want to just open the front door & let him roam free. But really, I love him so much & couldn’t imagine parting with him.

6)Crochet.

I started crocheting about 4 years ago after my husband took a textiles class at SDSU & needed to for his class. I had bought some yarn & some needles about a year before that, but gave up because I just wasn’t getting it. Helping out Nathaniel was just the motivation that I needed. I picked up Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker & taught myself how to do a few basic stitches & haven’t stopped since. Though I love sewing & doing other crafts, crocheting is definitely my craft of choice. Check out my craft blog, See the Art in Me, to see what I’ve done!

7)Babywearing.

Before having Benjamin all I knew about Babywearing was that I would buy a Baby Bjorn because that’s what everyone does & would wear him whenever we were out & about. At my breastfeeding class before Benjamin was born I heard something that totally changed the way I thought about carrying my child. The point was made that your baby is used to being with you 24 hours a day in the womb & after they’re born it only makes sense that they would want to be held all the time. I started looking into ways that  I could wear Benjamin. Thankfully, I have an awesome friend that introduced me to a jersey wrap, which I bought before Benjamin was born, and boy am I thankful for it. It literally saved me! Soon after Benjamin was born I started wearing him in my Ultimate Baby Wrap a large portion of the day. It was the only way that I was able to get things done around the house since he only wanted to be held & I couldn’t possibly do that all day. The Baby Bjorn, which was super uncomfortable, was quickly traded in for an Ergo & a guaze BaliBreeze wrap from Wrapsody. LOVE the skull & cross bone print that they sell! Benjamin loves to be held in our carriers & it’s so great because he will nap while being carried & doesn’t fuss when he’s put in them. It’s saved us many a night when he won’t go to sleep on his own. I am now such a huge baby wearing advocate & would love to be a certified consultant one day. I really love to see other babywearing mama’s when I’m out & about! Now, it would be awesome if I could get a ring sling & a mei tai, that would make my baby carrier library complete.

8)Books.

I love everything about them. The smell, the way the pages feel when you turn them, the crack of the binding on a new book, and most of all the story that they tell & the way that they make me feel. I love getting lost in a good book & feeling like I’m a part of what’s going on & getting to know the characters. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time to read right now, but I strive to read to Benjamin everyday, so even though it’s not an “adult” book I get a little reading done, which makes me happy. Some of my fav’s are “The Outsiders”, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, “The Twilight Series” (totally got sucked in! Team Edward!), & so many more… I’m also a bit weird (obsessive) when it comes to my books; I don’t like them to get dirty, I hate it when the pages are dog eared (get a bookmark!), and I almost feel as if you give a little bit of yourself away when you really get into a book, like a piece of yourself it stuck in it. I know, I know, inanimate objects don’t have feelings, but I still act as if they do. I’m working through it…haha. 😉

9)Tea.

I was never a tea drinker until my husband & I got married. I basically thought that tea was boring and only came in tea bags. Little did I know that there was a whole world of lovely flavors out there! After watching my husband make loose leaf tea everyday before school I decided to finally give it a try. I started out with the basics, English & Irish breakfast, & I was hooked. Thankfully, living in San Diego, there were many local tea shops that helped open up new tastes. I also do a lot of tea shopping at Teavana cause they have such an awesome selection of black & red teas, which are my fav’s. If you like tea you should check these out, they’re the ones I love rotate throughout the week: Cacao Mint Black, Raspberry Riot Lemon Mate, My Morning Mate, & MateVana Herbal.

10)Paper.

Anyone who knows me know that I absolutely love paper! Anything from Post-It Notes to Stationary to Journals, if it’s cute & fun, I want it. I have a whole cabinet full of scrapbook paper that I look at & dream of making it into cards, books, scrapbooks, & stationary, but unfortunately time just doesn’t agree with me. I also have a tendency to journal for awhile in a journal only to abandon it because I’ve found a journal that is “better”. I eventually would love to try my hand at making my own journals & stationary. Hopefully I’ll eventually find the time.

6.5 months. really??!!

benjamin6

6.5 months ago I met my beautiful boy & everyday I feel like time is passing more & more quickly. It literally brings me to tears to think about how big he is getting! Where is my little baby?

Right after he turned 5 months old he started rolling over & then it was all over, he’s been on the move ever since. He started crawling backwards on all fours almost immediately & then last week he figured out how to crawl forward on all fours, completely skipping the army crawl I was expecting. Now he’s pulling himself up onto things & can completely go from crawling to sitting up all by himself. I knew he was a strong boy, but I really didn’t expect him to develop so quickly & become so independent so soon. My husband was an early walker, just shy of 8 months, so I know it’s only a matter of time before Benjamin follows in his footsteps.

I appreciate those moments that he needs me so much more now. I love how quickly I can calm him down & how excited he gets when I enter a room (even if it is just because he’s hungry!). One of my favorite recent moments was the other night when he was sitting in his crib crying & when i reached for him he totally reached his little arms up to meet mine & then buried his face in my shoulder. I enjoy breast feeding so much more now, too. I love those quiet moments where he’s totally content being in my arms comfort nursing & knowing that in that moment he only wants me.

I’m just not looking forward to that day (though, I know it’s far off) where I’m not who he wants to be with all the time.

*sigh*I hope I don’t turn into one of those possessive Mama’s! haha.