Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Zoe 4 Months

Dear Zoe,
Mom usually writes these, but you've been keeping her so busy that she hasn't had the time. So your daddy gets to write to you this month! I don't get to spend as much time with you as mom does because I am working hard so mom can stay home and take good care of you. I love it when you come and visit me at work - it just brightens my day. My favorite part of the day is coming home to see your cute smiling face (or even your sad face).

We are have been getting settled in the new apartment and exploring our new city. You really like being in the beautiful outdoors. You've been fascinated with all the green trees and plants that you observe from the comfort of mommy's wrap. You've been to the top of Multnomah falls, the Pacific coast, deep in Forest park, and seen the majestic Mt. Hood. You don't mind the car rides as long as you can see mom in the back seat with you (except for that time when mom and dad didn't bring enough diapers and you had to sit in a messy one for too long... we are hoping you don't remember that).

You are becoming quite the social baby. You are meeting lots of other babies and aren't scared to have other people hold you. Everyone comments how well-behaved and alert you are. You seem to enjoy the weekly visits to the library to have book time with the other babies and moms. Although you are more interested in sucking on the books right now, mom sure does love getting out of the apartment and visiting with other moms!

You are starting to teeth now; it's not very fun for you (or mom and dad). When your mouth is hurting, mom and dad put lavender oil on your jaw and that makes you feel better for a while. It can be hard for you to sleep at night, but if you are snuggled up next to mom you usually sleep really well. But just think - soon you will be able to use those teeth to chew real food! Right now you are just eyeing the yummy looking food that mom and dad eat. You try and reach out for it, but we won't let you eat it yet. In fact, you are reaching out and grabbing everything in sight. Mom's hair seems to be your favorite thing to grab on to. And girl, do you have a strong grip!

I love being your dad and can't wait to see all the new things you will learn to do this month!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito

I did a little healthy recipe exchange with some of my friends this week and I have so many new recipes to try. I was sad that I hadn't typed this one up yet though because it has made its way on our menu almost every week the last month and it would have been a great one to share. I've been making an effort to eat cleaner and also eat less meat and this makes that goal seriously easy.

Have you ever heard it said that you should it lots of vegetables and the more vibrant the color the more nutrition they pack? I love that both red peppers and sweet potatoes fit that description. 

Burrito Filling 
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 T olive oil
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili pepper
1 t garlic powder
salt and pepper

black beans


1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1/2 in chunks. Wash and cut the red pepper into 1/2 chunks as well.
2. Toss all the burrito filling ingredients, except the black beans, together until the sweet potatoes and pepper are well coated.
3. Bake at 450 for 15-20 min. They should be soft but not mushy.
4. Add a can of cooked black beans.
5. Wrap your toppings in your tortillas and enjoy!

Ps if you blend 1 avocado with a handful of cilantro and 1/2 cup salsa, it makes a great sauce and an excellent salad dressing.

We never have leftover of this and always have tummies that are full from overeating.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Zoe at 3 month

Zoe Zoe Zoe.  3 whole months.  A quarter of a year old.  I honestly have no idea how much you weigh or how tall you are because we haven't gone to the doctors yet.  You are growing taller every day and your thighs have the most adorable rolls on them.  But you would still be counted as a tall and skinny baby.

The  defining event of this month was a move,  from Provo, Utah to Beaverton, Oregon.  We spent two full days I  the car,  and you know what, you did great! You usually hate the car so we did everything we could to make sure that you were calm and happy before the trip started.  It's always much easier to accomplish something difficult if you start with a clear unstressed body and a happy heart.  This was a huge group effort because it took days to pack and clean and the house was pure madness and chaos, and you are sensitive to change.  But between mom, dad, grandma A and grandma E, you remained constantly in loving arms that could help you adjust as our home was boxed up.  We couldn't have had such a great start in this new home without all the loving support we received.  I hope you never doubt if you are loved. If you ever wonder, just look around at all the people willing to do so much for you and you will find that you are surrounded by it.  

This month you've started smiling so big it spreads across your whole face. But I can't get a picture of it because you get distracted the moment you see a camera or phone. You love being an airplane and when I make you dance.  You even giggle sometimes.  It's a very special treat to hear you laugh.  

You are healthy and happy.  Someone said you are the happiest baby they've ever seen and you know,  I have to agree with them.  

I'm  so glad to be your momma sweetheart.  I love you more every day.  Can't wait to see what this month has in store for us!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

the Socialist Pancake Party

Breakfast for the win. Yep, labor day weekend started off with breakfast for dinner party. mmm. pancakes, and more importantly, bacon. Bacon. Bacon. Bacon. Bacon. When you're pregnant, everyone reminds you that you are eating for two. For some reason that logic stops after you have a baby and you literally are eating for two. But not when it comes to bacon. I most definitely ate enough bacon for both me and Zoe.

And this wasn't just any breakfast party. Zac and I joined the creators of the Socialist, a web series premiering NEXT month. And from the sneak previews I've seen so far, it's going to be as good as eating an entire plate of bacon. 

I love seeing people invest their time, talent and money into something they are passionate about. Olivia (the mind behind this project), her husband and the rest of her cast have really done that with this webs series. Next month they are hosting a red carpet, black tie event for the premiere of the first 6 episodes. And trust me, I've seen Olivia's wedding pictures and she knows how to host a black tie event. Why did I not know you before you were married? And WHY oh WHY am I moving RIGHT BEFORE this next gala takes place? 

Seriously though, if you are any where near Provo, spend the $30 and get your tickets now. Not only will it be a night of fun, but you can forever and always take credit for being one of the first to know and support this show. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Zoe Valentine: 2 months old!

Dear Zoe,

Time does fly when everyday is a little bit different. Full of new challenges and advedntures. This is the last month you will be a Provo girl. We are all moving out to Portland, OR. This month you seem so different than last month. You grew a full two inches and are now  24.25 inches long and 11.53 pounds. That puts you in the 98th percentile for height and the 56th percentile for weight. You are tall and skinny. But you do have just a bit of roll on your thighs. It's adorable. 

This month you are interacting so much more. You smile not just when you have gas bubbles, but when you are playing with us. One of the best games is when I stick my tongue out at you. You make a funny face and figure out how to copy me, or daddy. Then I giggle and you smile so big. 

You have stretched out. Last month you always tucked your legs up to your chest and now you like them to stretch out long. You often throw your arms above your head and reach your legs out as far as they will go as if to say I am super baby, here I come!

You  still like to be held most of the time. But you also like being in a wrap. We go for walks most mornings and you will fall asleep cuddled up against me. This is how you sleep best during the day.

You are finding your voice. When I sing or talk to you you look at me with your big eyes and make an adorable cooing sound. It sound just like some one going "ooooooo" and moving their voice up and down. Sometimes though, you scrunch up your face and all that comes out is a grunt. I can see the happiness in your face when you make the sound you are trying to make. I am so proud of you for how hard you practice and practice this skill. 

You also went on your first camping trip. It rained so we ended up not camping at all. But we did end up in the most beautiful of mountains.

I can't wait to see your personality come to the surface and grow.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An end and a beginning.


I'm sitting there looking across the room. Watching as my husband is preparing to walk across the stage to receive his diploma. His masters. A symbol of all the hard work and dedication he has put into his own development the past couple years.

I can’t help it, my eyes start to we'll up with  tears.  

Maybe it's that I only had 3 hours of sleep and am running on pure excitement.  But that feeling of graduation marking the end of an era is hanging heavy around me. How fitting that we are sitting here in the marriott center. After all, it is in this very building that I met Zac and this era of ‘us’ began.  

This is both and end  and a beginning.  

I ended up outside this building three years ago because I was doing a favor for a friend who happened to be crushing on one of my other friends. Get her to the basketball game he asked. That was the day I sat with Paige on one side of me and a cute unknown boy on the other.

That was the day I didn’t expect to meet anyone but my love story began.  

Now here we are again.  The last either of us will be on this campus in a long long time. No longer are we students, staying up too late talking, cuddling, dreaming.

We are making that future we dreamed about.  

It is beautiful.  

It is terrifying.  

I could not be more grateful to have this child in my arms, this man by my side.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wellness Wednesday: Learning About Oils

Can I tell you how much  I love being a mom.  I even like the late nights every now and then.  There's something really special about cuddling up and having some only Zoe and me time. Time that won't be interrupted by a phone call or a knock on the door.  Just the two of us.  Some quiet music and of course love.

That's how I feel the first time we get up  at least.  By the second time in ready to just sleeeeeep.  Why are we doing this again? Oh yeah so she doesn't starve.  

I talk a lot about how much I love being a mom. My life really has changed, no matter how cliche that sounds, it’s true. But it hasn't all been cuddles and giggles; there's been some challenges too. One of the biggest has been Zoe’s acid reflux.

When Zoe was just a couple weeks old, she had a hard time after she ate.  She was a good eater, but once she had the food down the problems would start.  She would start crying as if she was in pain and gag on her spit up trying hard to keep it down.  She would throw her head back and she seemed miserable.  I felt helpless.   

When everyone came to visit for her baby blessing, my step mom showed me how to use a blend of essential oils that supports digestion. We mixed it with some coconut oil to dilute it so it wouldn’t be s\to strong for her small body. Then I would put some on Zoe’s heels before she would eat. It was amazing the difference we saw right away. Sometimes she would still fuss after eating, but that ‘I’m in pain’ cry was gone.

Flash forward a couple weeks and now it’s my turn for my body to need some help. I kept getting a clogged milk duct. I asked my doctor about it and they gave me some suggestions on how to care for it and a warning that it could easily get infected. And sure enough, it got infected, badly. So much so that an abscess formed and the infection burst right through the skin. Luckily some antibiotics were prescribed and I’m healing. But so far I've had to spend about $70 on doctors visits and medicine. I can’t help but wonder if a little more support to my body in the first place could have helped myself heal without all the expenses. This little video about melaleuca and oregano oils by a doctor with a Harvard degree especially makes me wonder.if I could have stopped the infection before it became so damaging.

I've purchased the family physician kit from DoTerra and am learning everything I can about the oils. I really do believe in the power our bodies have to heal themselves. Not that this will replace all doctors visits. I’m never going to stop being grateful for the excellent doctors who were ready to pull Zoe out of me via c-section when her heart went crazy. But I would like to start with informed self care when there’s not an emergency.