Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why is there toothpaste on my bedstand?

Did I brush my teeth today? Yesterday? 
I hope Felix didn't eat any cat litter.
When was the last time I ate? 
I probably should vacuum.
Will anyone notice the baby food on my pants? 
I hope Penelope comes and eats the bug I just killed. 

This is my inner Mama-logue. The back and forth conversation throughout the day -- the endless list of things I ought to be doing, but don't have enough time to get to. The things I want to say outloud, but probably shouldnt. I think us Mama's talk to ourselves more often than we're willing to admit. 

I changed the sheets today because I honestly couldn't remember the last time I had. 
I clean the shower while I'm showering, maybe once a month? 
And when Felix spills pureed food on the floor, I wipe it up with a wet wash cloth and move on because, time. 
What Mom has time for things like this? 

In college, my roommates lived a lot more immaculately clean than anyone I'd ever seen. 
They liked things so clean that they didn't look lived in (to me anyways). 
At the time I thought that was better, I dreamed of having a house like that some day. 
But in the world I currently live in, I don't see that ever happening. Ever. 
Unless we had a house cleaner that came every day.
To you know, put the toothpaste back in the bathroom when it gets mysteriously put on my bedside table. 

There's nothing wrong with immaculately clean. I would love if everything in my house had a place, a place that could be out of plain sight if it needed to be. Closets for days. Organization for days. 
But, there's nothing wrong with where were at. 
We have about 1500 square feet worth of stuff packed into 700 square feet. We are cramped and slightly claustraphobic about it. We are in between places. In between a comfortable life that we've gotten fairly used to, and a new life, in a bigger home, in a different city -- that is just about to get started. We have a big, crazy, beautiful life. 

I would be lying if I told you I wasn't antsy. Every day I'm reminded of how badly I want to move, of how badly I want to get this new adventure started. I've resolved to stop nagging my husband about these things. I've decided to nag God instead. Because remember that desert I've been crawling through spiritually? Yep, I'm still there. Still trudging. Still trying to figure out where He fits into this messy life. It's more on me then it is on Him so I guess I'll start talking and see what happens. 

I hope to share more of this conversation in my head.
My mama-logue.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Portland Road Trip

Our little family recently made an epic road trip north to Portland. 
It was quite the adventure indeed. 
My best friend Mel got married past Sunday, and since I was the matron of honor there were quite a few events that I had to be present for! We thought it best to drive up there so we had our car, and weren't limited to the stuff that we could bring. 

We set out Wednesday morning, making it halfway to Medford, Oregon for the night.
I didn't totally think through the one room situation with a baby. 
You see, Felix goes to sleep at 7 -- and is a very light sleeper, so we were forced to watch the tv on mute until we went to sleep. Luckily we were all pretty tired so we ended up going to be early! 
The drive was beautiful, though boring. Driving in one straight line up I-5 for 700 miles can make you want to rip your hair out pretty fast. Good thing Seth and I decided to read a book on tape for the drive, we chose "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter". The book kept our minds busy through the long patches of unexciting landscape. 

We got up early the next morning and headed north. We needed to be in Portland in time for me to get ready to go to the bachelorette party that evening.
We made pretty good time and got to Hillsboro, where Ashley lives and we stayed, around 2. 
We got the boys settled and left shortly after. 
Sidenote: have you ever sat in Portland traffic?
It is AWFUL. Dare I say worse that LA? 
It took me 2 hours to go 15 miles to Mels house just north of Portland in Vancouver, WA.

The rest of the night was spent celebrating with the awesome bride and bridesmaids. 

"mood lighting" 

The next day we relaxed until we had to head north again for a nail appointment and BBQ.
Cue cursing about traffic.
We sat for a long time in traffic, and then Ash says "umm Jamie...Felix pooped".
And I think, "ok, nothing too out of the ordinary"
And then, "JAMIE, It's coming out of his pants, its on the seat, I need wipes, WEAR ARE THE WIPES."
Blowouts in rush our traffic on the freeway are FUN. We pulled over, on the side of a bridge in Portland and had to change the poopy little dude. 
And we were very late for nails.
And of course Felix hadn't napped so he promptly had a meltdown. 
This was not my favorite day. 

That was how we kept Felix entertained at the nail salon until Seth came back.
We wanted, so much, to go the BBQ that Mel and Jeff were hosting that night at their new house but it was almost impossible. 
My mom was flying in that night too and wanted to see Felix, so we decided to head back to her hotel in Hillsboro and just have a quiet night to ourselves without Felix.
Seth and I got the chance to go out to a nice dinner, visit a funky Portland brewery, and get Voodoo donuts.
The unexpected date night definitely made up for the interesting day. 

The next day, Saturday, was the rehersal and following luncheon. 
I definitely cried in the rehearsal more than I did the wedding. 
It is so overwhelming to see your best friend walking down the isle. 
Melissa and I also happened to accidentally match that day, oops!

Saturday evening Ashley's fiancee, Steve, had a game in downtown Portland. He plays for the MLS Portland Timbers. I had never been to an MLS game before and it was so exciting. Sports fans in the Pacific North West are diehard. I did not expect such spirit and noise. It was honestly one of the most fun sporting events I've ever been to, besides hockey of course. 

After meeting some of the players after the game, we headed home -- hopefully to get enough sleep before the wedding.
My mom had Felix again that night which was great, though I missed him so much.
I went over to her hotel early in the morning to visit.
Ash and I had to leave early to get our hair done so we could be on time for everything.
We wrote speeches in the hair salon and shared them with eachother -- trying to get through without tears. 

We got to the venue at 11:30 and walked upstairs to wear all the wedding party was getting ready.
Mel was only half way through her makeup and hair but she was honestly the most beautiful bride I've ever seen. After opening our bridesmaids gifts, matching earings and necklaces for all of the maids, we helped Mel into her dress so she and Jeff could go and have their "first look". 

Seth, my Mom, and Felix arrived shortly after. 
I had the boys in matching outfits for the wedding and they couldn't have been any cuter. 

We were confined to the getting ready room for the last half hour before the wedding started. We kept the flower girl and ring bearer busy with spiderman. How cute are they?!

The ceremony was perfect.
It was a scorching 95 degrees, but luckily we werent out there for too long!
The reception was held in an air conditioned tent next to where the ceremony was held. 

Jeff and Felix really hit it off!

And Felix loved Mel. He was jumping and drooling all over her!

Felix also made friends with the ring bearer. It's so fun to see him interacting with other kids!

The night ended early and we all headed home. Knowing that we were going to be driving a lot the next day I mentally prepared myself for all the packing I needed to do. 

We left around 9 the next day. 
Our first stop was in Madras, Oregon to see my old babysitter and friend, Tanya.
We drove through beautiful Mount Hood and through the central Oregon high desert. The Oregon landscape is so interesting!

After Madras, we made our way down to Crater Lake.
Neither of us had ever been there before so we were both looking forward to it.
Crater Lake did not dissapoint. It was truly an incredible place to see.
It started raining shortly after we arrived, which was kind of sad -- but the clouds made the landscape more beautiful that I could have imagined. 

Even though the drive was a lot longer than we thought, it was so worth stopping. 

After Crater Lake, we drove to our hotel in Klamath Falls. We were all exhausted to we settled in for the night and slept really well. Felix slept all the way until 7 am that night, and sure enough he had a tooth pop through in the morning!

On the last day of our trip we were all so tired, Felix was out of onesies, and we wanted to be home so badly! We drove past the beautiful Mount Shasta, stopped in Weed, and jetted home.
We set out around 8:15 and made it home around 5. 

The trip was wonderfully exhausting.
I think today is the first day I feel back to normal. 
Travelling with a baby is not for the faint of heart, it definitely requires super human patience and expecting the unexpected. 

I think I'm content to stay home for the next few months.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Felix Alexander: 8 Months

Dear Felix,
You are 8 months old and growing oh so fast. 

This past month has been an exciting one.
You went from not uncoordinated scooting to jetsetting across the room. We can't figure out how to properly contain you in our little apartment! Putting you in our hamper is a temporary (and funny) solution.
You are still trying to push out that first tooth. Still.
Teething seems to never end. You can now see the white part on the bottom right tooth -- so it's coming and soon. Please be soon, Lord. Teeting has brought out the crankiness in you, a trait I'd forgetten you had!

You are so goofy. When you wake up in the morning you babble until I sit up and look into the crib -- then you just giggle. Almost like saying "haha Mom, you thought I'd sleep a little longer, not today!"
You love to dance with me. It makes you laugh and smile when we twirl around. 
You also love to bounce. We have two different bouncing aparatuses, and when you're not in them you are pretending to bounce while standing -- it kind of looks like you're trying to twerk, we should tell Miley Cyrus that its way cuter when you do it. 
We discovered that you love to swing. I'm trying to find a park close to our house that we can take you to swing at!

You still are sleeping great at night -- with a couple of wakeups here and there with those pesky teeth. We have your schedule down to a T -- which makes things pretty predictable. 
We've gone on a lot of family adventures this month.
Hiking, Gilroy Gardens, museums, beer festivals...
we're trying to get it all in before Dad has to get a job and join the real world. 

It has been HOT. We've enjoyed taking you in the pool.
You love to splash, LOVE. It is fun to see how much you enjoy the water. 
You also love to babble. It's usually mama or baba. We are teaching you to wave and say "bye-bye" and you actually are pretty good at it. 
You had your first modeling audition for Walmart. 
But teething and over-tiredness got the best of you so you didn't get the photoshoot. 
Thats ok.
I know who's the cutest boy. 
It's you, my dear. 
You were also supposed to get an MRI this month.
We decided not to, kind of last minute.
One day I'll explain to you about the drama of your sacral dimple. 
I'm just glad we didn't have to go through the drama of depriving you of food (apparently for an MRI they are very strict about having food in your system), putting you under anasthesia, and just going through such a tough process in general. 

I want to remember and write down every single funny or sweet thing you do. 
There are just so many. 
Like getting so happy when you see your Dad after a nap that you just lay your head on my shoulder in delight. 
Like squealing when you see Penelope walking towards you. 
You know when it's bathtime, we can put you on the floor and run on the water and your crawl all the way to the tub. 
When you see either of your Grandma's you light up like a firework and start talking to them. 
Sometimes when you first start drinking a bottle you pull it out of your mouth and girgle the milk. 
You constantly roll over during diaper changes, making them resemble more of a wrestling match than a diaper change. 
You like to play the drums. Anytime there is a hard surface in front of you, you bang on it rythmically. Fellow restauraunt patrons love when you do that in public. 
You know how to high-five. And you get so excited when you hit the persons hand with a loud "clap" on the first try. 
Being your mama is a joy and a delight. 
I whisper "I love you" as often as I can -- I truly don't think I could say it enough.
Sometimes often I nibble on your cheeks, your thighs, and your sweet little belly. 
You make me feel all the feelings. 
I love you sweet boy. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Last weekend I turned 24. 
If you'd asked me 5 years ago what I thought my life would look like at 24, this isn't quite what I pictured. It's better than what I pictured. 

I told Seth that I didn't want to plan for my own birthday. I do lots of planning all the time. Birthdays, trips, bridal showers -- I enjoy it for sure, but I kind of wanted to take a back seat for my own birthday.

Seth got to work on planning something I've wanted to do forever; go riding in a hot air balloon. 
He wouldn't tell me what we were doing, but I knew it was special because in the week prior he was clearly stressing out about it. He kept the whole thing a surprise, even when I had a hunch that we were going in a hot air balloon he didn't even crack! 

We started out the day before, leaving to go "somewhere a couple of hours away". I was told to bring clothing for hot and cold weather. I realized quickly that we were driving north, and our first stop was at our friend Kenny's house in Rohnert Park. I noticed that Kenny's car wasn't outside and the garage wasn't open as usual so I asked, "is Kenny even home?" -- Seth replied, "that doesn't matter". It was then that I realized this is where we were staying. Good thing Kenny was home. He was preparing to leave for his cabin that night which is a few hours away, but we were able to hang with him for a while and have dinner. 

We went to Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa for their famous (and delicious) Pliny the Elder. We then went to a different brewery for dinner because the wait at Russian River was a staggering 1.5 hours. 

I was told that we had to get up SUPER early the next day. So after dinner Seth and I made our way back to Kenny's and hit the hay around 9:30. At 4:30 our alarm went off. Seth told me that we were driving somewhere that was 45 minutes away -- and that we had to be there RIGHT ON TIME. I begged for coffee so we stopped at a gas station on the way out. 

Seth went back and forth on if/when he was going to tell me what we were doing. He didn't say anything. I only figured things out when we pulled up to the pick up spot, coincidentally the hotel that we stayed at on our honeymoon in Napa, that I saw the white vans with hot air balloon signs on them. I was so excited!!

We left the hotel around 6:15am after being briefed on the plan for the morning and assigned a balloon. 
We met our balloon driver, Russ, and loaded into the balloon. Seth and I were the last to load in out of the other 15 or so people in the balloon. We ended up having to be separated by a large barrier that split the middle of the balloon, which was dissappointing. We tried not to let it bug us though. 

Sidenote: the "hot" part of hot air balloon is seriously HOT. Like burn your head hot. I should have worn a hat like Seth suggested, but I didn't want a baseball cap to cramp my birthday style. 

Seeing the valley from that high up -- in open air, was incredible. 
I loved seeing the other balloons, and I loved seeing the sunrise. 

The ride was supposed to be between 1 and 1.5 hours. 
The winds were also supposed to move us.
But they didn't. 

Our balloon pretty much got stuck in mid air. 
And it took us 3 whole hours to get back on the ground.
We ended up landing in the middle of Hess vineyards in a tall, grassy field where no car could even find us. 
It took the balloon team almost 45 minutes to find us once we had landed, and then we had to hike out to the vans through a vineyard!

Finally landed. 

Hiking out. 

When we got back, there was a champagne brunch waiting for us.
Emphasis on the champagne. 
I made sure to load up on the mimosas, in case you were wondering. 

After a nap back at Kenny's house, Seth and I headed back down south -- but we first stopped at Lagunitas brewing, a family favorite. 

Our last stop was at Hawk Hill on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. We had never seen the bridge from that angle before. It was quite the site!

Seth and I headed home and had a delicious birthday dinner with his parents at a yummy Creole southern restaraunt. 

I headed home to my parents house that night since Felix was with my mom. I missed him so much that I couldn't bare another night without him. 
He greeted me like this the next morning. 

This birthday had me feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. 
Seth planned a fantastic day for us, and I felt so blessed to have two sets of parents to love on our boy and let us have a night away. 

Cheers to 24.