Strawberry Festival 2016

We got to spend 8 days in West Virginia during the Strawberry Festival and we had such a good time. It rained for a lot of the week, but even on rainy days, it was nice to sit around and relax as a family.

Jonas got really into tractors. At first he thought this one was too loud but eventually he wanted to sit on it while it was off. During the Grand Feature Parade, when all the tractors went by, he wanted to know what they were all called and told me all the green ones were John Deeres.



He loved the carnival. At first we weren’t sure if he was having fun on the rides because he looked so serious– like he was working so hard to really steer them.


Eventually, he lightened up a little and even smiled.


We saw a lot of friends and some family and enjoyed some gross but delicious carnival food. It was cool to see how far my town has come– there are people there working hard to make it a more welcoming and enjoyable place.


It’s always special to see Jonas and my Grandma together.


It’s sad that we probably won’t visit again until next summer, and it’s hard to believe when we do we will have two kiddos to show around!

February and March 2016!

We have been so busy the last couple months I haven’t had a chance to blog about any of it! And this is just a taste of what we’ve been up to.

Jonas’s hair was getting long so we went to get it cut. When I told him we were going to, he said, “It’s haircut day?!” I was so proud of him– he sat in the seat all by himself and giggled the whole time! And so handsome!

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The sun shade doesn’t work very well on the window, but Jonas hates the sun in his eyes so he told me he would hold it instead.





March 2 was Aunt Sadie’s birthday so we went to the California Science Center for a play date with her and the girl she nannies.


Bubby came to visit for a week! We did so many fun things and Jonas loved it. He told me Bubby is his best friend.

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Jonas had his physical for starting preschool in the fall. When the doctor walked in, Jonas said, “The gown is open in the back so you can use your stethoscope,” and the doctor was so impressed he didn’t even know what to say!


Jonas was not as big a fan of the Easter Bunny this year. Last year he kept hugging him and telling him secrets and he cried when he had to get off his lap. This year, he was excited while we were in line, but then when we got up to the bunny, he asked me to come with him and when I said I would be back by the camera, he started to get upset and said he didn’t want to sit with him. So he sat next to him instead.


We went to an Ontario Reign game with a guy from my hometown who moved out here. Jonas loved that he could scream when everyone else cheered.


One day, Jared was still sleeping and Jonas crawled up and said, “Take a picture of me with Daddy!”


We don’t usually eat eggs because we don’t like how chickens are treated at the big farms, but we found a neighbor with chickens in his yard! So we’ve been enjoying eating them and Jonas got to dye eggs this year. Our friend Sami’s sister lives in San Jose and Sami was visiting her from the UK, and made a stop at our house for a few days! I didn’t take any pictures, but Sami took the one of me and Jonas.

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Yesterday was Easter and we had a great day! Jonas liked his Easter basket but he was most excited about the jelly beans in the eggs. After breakfast, I hid some eggs for him and he liked finding them. He hid them for me and when I opened my eyes, he said, “I hid the eggs! There’s one there and there and there!” and pointed to all the hiding places. In the afternoon we went to Aunt Shannon and Uncle Chris’s house and it was great. Jonas ran around with his cousins and found eggs and ate way too much sugar.


Going straight for a Daniel Tiger book


Jelly beans! I was glad I only put 2 or 3 in each of his 6 eggs.


Shaking eggs like maracas


He didn’t want to stand up for a picture– he wanted to sit in the basket instead.

And the other thing we’ve been up to…yay!!


Our Year So Far

A few weeks ago, we visited an awesome indoor play space called LOL Kids Club. Jonas LOVED it. There was a ball pit and tons of stuff to climb and a little trampoline and toys. We stayed and played for four hours!


Someone hit our car on the way home. Thankfully no one was hurt!! We still don’t have our car back though. Jonas  was very excited to see firefighters and he asked them “Are you a fire fighter?! Do you fight fires?!” They even gave him his own helmet!

Jonas went to the dentist for the second time and he did such a great job! They were all so impressed with how well he listened when they told him to open and close his mouth while they did his cleaning!



Even though we stopped nursing in August, I was still bouncing Jonas to sleep in the carrier before most of his naps. It was getting tiring for me so we decided it was time for him to take naps by himself. He had a really hard time at first. The first day, we went out for sushi after and Jared asked “Did you have any dreams?” Jonas said, “I had a dream that Mama goed in the other room and I cried for her to come back.” I asked, “Did you feel proud that you fell asleep by yourself?” He said, “No, I felt sad that you left.” It broke my heart!! He’s been doing a lot better though, and the past two days has fallen asleep by himself without crying at all. Yesterday he even got up and used the potty by himself!! Here I am crying our last nap in the carrier:


I want to remember this view forever!!



Since we’ve been without a car, I’ve been trying to come up with fun things for us to do at home. We made Valentines! Our friends are coming over on Monday for a Valentines Play Date!


101 Revisions and Plans!

Happy New Year!



I’ve been working on my 101 in 1001 list for 2 years now, and it wraps up September of this year! I’ve done 59 things from the list, leaving 42 to do, which seems like a lot, but I’m pretty proud of the ones I’ve done– especially getting my doula certification and finishing my novel! I figured this was a good time to look back on my list, see what I still want to do, and what is feasible, and make some changes. Anything I changed, I tried to keep the spirit of the original goal, and either make it more realistic, or just more reflective of what I currently want to do. For example, “Relearn basic Spanish” was a little too broad, so I made it more specific– “listen to Think and Learn Spanish CD and read book,” and a trip to the UK isn’t going to happen in the next 9 months, so I changed it to writing letters to the people I wanted to visit. So here’s what’s on the list!

  1. make t-shirt quilt
  2. send novel to 10 agents/publishers
  3. Camp NaNoWriMo for 2nd novel
  4. listen to Think and Learn Spanish CD and read book
  5. frame orange crate prints
  6. have carpet professionally cleaned
  7. send letters to Amelia and Sami
  8. go to Quaker meeting
  9. go to UU service
  10. Do Nancy Bardacke’s 9 week home program
  11. do yoga at least once a week
  12. turn window seat into toy chest
  13. go to Deer Park
  14. go to an IE Dharma Punx meeting or have a meditation day with friends
  15. send postcards or letters to Lindsey, Laura, and Elizabeth
  16. visit WV
  17. tech free weekend
  18. at home date- movie and dinner theme
  19. make a will
  20. donate a toy to Loma Linda chidren’s hospital
  21. hang up diplomas
  22. get ring insurance
  23. clean out office
  24. “just because” gifts for Jer (3/3)
  25. go to family yoga class with Jonas (Kids yoga video)
  26. have family photos taken
  27. drive in movie as a family
  28. 4 date nights (2/4)
  29. get a massage
  30. use the pool at least once a week during summer
  31. take Sasha to dog park
  32. go to the beach
  33. get into 3 new bands (1/3)
  34. write a love letter to Jer
  35. Read 30 books
  36. go to another hockey game
  37. play street hockey in the driveway
  38. (personal)
  39. record listening night
  40. surprise Jer with one of his favorite meals
  41. take Sasha to get stitches out
  42. Take juicer out and make healthy juices


Christmas 2015

Jared and I started throwing up the night of the 23rd and on Christmas Eve we were both miserable. Jonas still wasn’t feeling great and thankfully was happy to snuggle and watch Thomas the Tank Engine holiday specials all morning. My awesome father-in-law brought us Gatorade and Saltines. I ended up going to urgent care because I couldn’t keep any fluids down at all. Jonas was great the whole time and the nurses gave Jared a glove to blow up for him and printed some Santa coloring sheets.


Sadie and Hernando still came over that evening– very brave! Thankfully, in the morning, Jared and I were both feeling much better, and could actually enjoy watching Jonas open presents. He had been asking for a candy cane and I kept telling him maybe Santa would put one in his stocking. He did!


We didn’t get to go celebrate at Aunt Shannon’s house on Christmas and we were all disappointed. Jonas had been asking to see his cousins for a few days. It was so fun to see him get excited about opening presents, though, and he did a great job tearing the wrapping paper off himself! Santa came through and brought him his Muddle and Match: Imagine book!


Sadie got him a vet kit and book and Mommy and Daddy got him a doctor kit and book and he loves pretending to be a doctor and do “surgery” on the puppy he named Finchy.



Jonas liked playing with wrapping paper just as much as he liked playing with his presents, I think.


We had been too sick to read it the night before, so Jared and Jonas did the annual reading of The Night Before Christmas on Christmas evening.


Jared’s Aunt Lisa passed away on Christmas evening, so we were all really sad about that. It was definitely not the Christmas we had planned but I was still thankful to get to spend it with my family and to be surrounded with love.

Jonas forgot about the chocolate Santa in his stocking for a few days, but then remembered. I told him he could have it after dinner that night and as soon as dinner was over, he asked for it. They were always Aunt Sadie’s favorite and I think he liked it too!


Happy Holidays!

We’ve been busy enjoying the holidays. Jonas really liked Hanukkah and he would ask every night if it was time to light the candles. He still asks if it is Hannukah.


We went with the cousins to see Santa and to the Yard House for dinner. It’s the second year we’ve done it and a really fun tradition. We kept asking Jonas beforehand what he was going to ask Santa for and he said a “Muddle and Match Imagine book.” He told Santa and Santa told him, “Ok!” He kept asking, and as we were leaving he called over his shoulder, “Can I have a Muddle and Match Imagine book?!” We had forgotten to tell him that when he asked, Santa wouldn’t give him the book right away. We explained after, though, and he understands now.



Jonas got to hang out with Santa a couple other times– at his You and Me Play School class and at the cookie exchange we did with our play group.


Last weekend, we took a road trip to Arizona for my friend Ellie’s baby shower. We were supposed to meet at a park, but the trip took longer than expected. Jonas kept asking to go to the “far park” and luckily there was another park close to the hotel.


A bunch of our Arizona friends got Jonas some Christmas presents and he was really excited about them! He wanted to sleep with them all, including Captain America.


While I went to the baby shower, Jonas and Jared hung out with some of the other dads and kids. We adjusted the carrier to fit Jared in case Jonas wanted to nap in it, and I wanted some pictures of my two cute guys.

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After a whole day of playing with his friend Evelyn, and not napping, Jonas was so tired he fell asleep on her bedroom floor.


It was a great trip, and he was such a great traveler! When he wasn’t sleeping in the car, he played with his fingers and hands and sang and talked to himself. It was so cute!

Last night we watched Elf and relaxed. We were supposed to go to a gift exchange with our play group today but Jonas was throwing up last night. He seemed happy all day though, so hopefully he is better. 3 days until Christmas and we’re pretty much ready– just need to do some cooking and cleaning!!


We’ve been doing so many fun things!



The park



Parent and me class. This was their trick or treating day for the letter T. I didn’t want Jonas to get bored of his Halloween costume so we improvised and he was a super hero.


Building “birdie nests” and “beetles nests”




Jonas has also been going to ice skating lessons! He’s had a couple where he cried and didn’t want to do anything but on the ones where he is in the mood (they take place when he is usually napping), he’s been getting better and better and can even skate on his own! I can’t even explain the pride I felt when I saw him let go of the chair and take off!



Since it’s getting close to Halloween, we had some friends over to decorate pumpkins and Jonas loved the finger paint he got to use.



And then the next day, he liked hanging out with his pumpkin friends, who he said came over. I love his imagination!



And then yesterday, we got to go with Grandma and Papa to Adventure City in Anaheim. Jonas absolutely loved the bus ride that went up in the air and gave him butterflies in his tummy on the way down and he giggled and grinned the whole time!


We have another busy month in November and I hope it will be just as fun!

Book Review- Positive Discipline: The First Three Years

Tiny babies, though extremely challenging in many ways, are easy in one– there is no distinction between their needs and wants, so you don’t have to decide whether or not to give them something they’re asking for. If they are hungry, it’s a need. If they are sleepy, it’s a need. If they’re crying, it’s because they NEED something, even if that need is for some love and connection. Then, when they get bigger, it gets a little more complicated. You have to tell them no sometimes. They actually NEED nos sometimes. When? That’s a little tougher.

So when Jonas first started having wants that weren’t needs and I needed to learn how to say no sometimes, I was happy that Blogging For Books sent me Positive Discipline: The First Three Years to review.

I actually finished reading it several months ago and just haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet (I’m the parent of a toddler, remember!) but we can look on the bright side of that and see what has really stuck with me from it!

Avoid power struggles. If you are caught in a loop of “YES!” “NO!” “YES!” “NO!” with your 2 year old, stop it. Haha, this is easier said than done, but I like a lot of the tools this book provides. The most helpful for me was to “shut up and act.” Instead of sitting across the room yelling, “Get down. I said get down. You can’t be up there. You can’t climb. Get down. Did you here me?! Get DOWN!” walk across the room, say “I’m taking you down because it isn’t safe to climb on the back of the couch” and pick your toddler up and move him. It also helps you think about whether it is worth the effort at all– the book says some of the things we stress out about as parents like eating and potty training go more smoothly if we just relax a little bit.

Distraction is a legit method. I had an idea that distraction was kind of a “last ditch” method of discipline. It felt lazy– like I was avoiding actually teaching acceptable behavior and just thinking short term. This book says that at this age, distraction is ok. They’ll be able to learn more when they’re older. Sometimes distraction is exactly what is needed. Similarly:

Recognize what is age-appropriate behavior. The book explains that many of the things parents see as misbehaving at this age are really just developmentally appropriate behavior. A lot of stuff, little ones don’t even have the ability to understand is not desirable behavior, or if they do, their developmental need to explore stimuli overpowers their ability to not do it. I like the distinction this book makes between developmentally appropriate and situationally appropriate as well. A toddler might not be trying to misbehave by throwing his food but that doesn’t mean he can do it at a restaurant. The book has good advice for teaching that this kind of stuff isn’t appropriate without turning it into a punishment.

My only complaint about this book is related to this. Most of the claims about developmental appropriateness seemed evidence-backed. Some, however, like the age that children should wean and sleep independently, weren’t cited at all and seemed to just be the authors’ opinions and are actually different from real research I’ve read on the topics. The whole book is tied to RIE parenting methods, I believe, which has a lot of great theories but some silly applications. While most of the book was great, these unbacked claims just seemed like the silly parts of what I know about RIE.

Connection before correction. This is one of the most important lessons in the book. Discipline isn’t about punishment or shaming, it’s about teaching. If your kid is acting out, recognize the emotional stress they are in and address it instead of adding more to it. Don’t make it about who the kid IS (like saying “You’re being so bad! Why are you so naughty?!”), but instead about what the correct behavior should be.

Competency Experiences. Also tied to RIE, but presented in a way that seemed reasonable and made a lot of sense. The book talks about giving toddlers the chance to experience what they CAN do. Don’t be afraid of cleaning up flour. Let your kiddo help you mix the cookies. It is a good reminder to not get so caught up in just getting stuff done and to let toddlers learn how capable they are and through these experiences become more capable.

Although much of the book seemed like common sense, the book really reinforced my parenting instincts and also gave me some concrete tools to use.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jonas!

Today Jonas is 2 years old! He likes food, especially peanut butter sandwiches, books, being outside, pretending to be all kinds of things, trucks, and so many other things. His favorite phrase is “what happened?!”

We celebrated with a fun Curious George camping themed party on the 13th.

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Leading up to the party, when you asked Jonas what he wanted at his birthday party, he said “cake.” He thought all his presents were going to have cake in them. When he opened his presents, he said, “No cake in there.” Finally, it was cake time and he asked for a spoon! He even blew out his candles himself on the first try.

Today we went to the Chino Youth Museum. Jonas had a great time!


He wasn’t sure about getting on the motorcycle at first but then he liked it.

We got Thai food and then got some sorbet!


Happy birthday, sweetheart! I can’t believe how brilliant and kind and funny you are. Everything you do is amazing and I am so proud of you every day! I love you so much!

You Drink No More Mommy Milk Anymore

Soon after writing the post about big boy naps, Jonas didn’t ask for Mommy Milk one night at bed time. The next night he asked once but when I directed him back to the book we were reading, he forgot about it right away. He was telling me he was ready– that this was a small window in which we could wean somewhat easily. I struggled the next day, going back and forth, wondering if I should nurse him that night. Part of me wanted to have one more time, that I knew was the last time. Another part of me thought it would be too sad. When I had read blogs about other people weaning and they had a special last nursing session I always wondered how they could do that. I imagined myself sobbing.

When I was 13, my dad died. We knew it was coming soon, and I was at ballet class. My grandma came to get me, and by the time we got back to my house, he had passed away. My mom told me that he knew Sadie wanted to be there and I didn’t, so he picked a time when that could happen. Later she talked about how they asked the two of us if we wanted to be there– Sadie said yes, and I apparently said no. I have no memory of this conversation. I have so little memory of it, that I actually doubt whether I would have said a definitive no. Maybe I said it hastily, not really thinking about it. Maybe I thought, like I did about having a last nursing session and knowing it would be the last one, that it would be hard, so I said no and then blocked it from my mind. It haunts me a little bit sometimes. Did I really choose not to be there with my dad? Should I have thought about it more, if I did? How did it make him feel? I knew if I chose not to have a last nursing session with Jonas that I would regret it.

So that night at bed time, when he asked for Mommy Milk, I said ok. He giggled with delight and I fought back tears. I let him nurse as long as he wanted (which was a long time) and tried to be present with him for all of it. Sometimes, because my milk supply was down, he would say “That one not work anymore” and switch sides. I didn’t rush him and just enjoyed being with him and holding him.

I got what I needed and wanted from it. I wanted to know he was ready and he showed me. I wanted, deep down, to have a special memory of the last time we nursed. In a way, I think I needed it, to heal from the guilt of running from hard moments in the past. I got that too.

The next day, I wanted to do something to mark the transition, so we went to the mall and had a special big boy day. Jonas decided between noodles and burritos (he picked noodles) and then we went to the big boy toy store where only big kids go and get to make their own toys. Jonas made a puppy and named him Puppy. He drinks no Mommy Milk and he wears big boy underwear!


He thought it smelled delicious.



Adding stuffing to Puppy

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I wasn’t planning on starting to potty train Jonas any time soon and I definitely wasn’t planning on starting the same week he stopped nursing, but he woke up in the middle of the night and asked to use the potty and my friend told me she missed the window with her three year old where she was interested and it became a power struggle and I didn’t want to do that. We tried the three day method but it didn’t work with Jonas’s personality. He got annoyed with us asking him constantly if he was dry and reminding him to tell us if he had to go and he would ignore us and have accidents on purpose. Instead we just started putting him on the potty every once in a while and praising him a lot when he went and as soon as the pressure was off, he started doing better. He’s been doing great!

Now when he sees me changing or if he looks down my shirt, he will kind of giggle and say “You drink no more Mommy Milk anymore!” It’s a mix of pride, nostalgia, and disbelief and I feel the same way!


In his first pair of underwear!


Two guys in their underwear