Happy Birthday

I have a one year old. Wow, that really is hard to say. Where did this year go? It’s true what they say, time goes by so (too) fast. I feel like I blinked and my baby turned into a toddler. Am I allowed to say I think he’s the smartest and cutest kid alive? Okay, maybe not the smartest  and cutest kid alive…but he’s definitely special to me.

I have genuinely enjoyed watching Braden blossom from a tiny newborn to a peanut of a toddler. He’s still on the small side, but his huge smile makes up for it. Yes, he still smiles ALL the time! It kind of helps that he is a huge flirt, and a ham. I have no idea where he gets that from ;).

Watching the little “isms” of his is really a feeling I can’t even describe. For instance, today, his wide blue eyes witnessed a train passing by for the first time. His mouth literally dropped, eyes moving back and forth as fast as they could go. He was completely infatuated, and probably could have watched the trains go by all afternoon. His little wave of ” bye bye” completed the scene. Speaking of his wave, it has evolved from a somewhat of a fist pump, to a flap of the wrist – the fingers trailing along. It is ridiculously cute.

He’s got 4 1/2 teeth, a love for spitting, splashing water and pressing any button you’ll allow him to. Not to mention, set him down with a “task” of sorting and organizing, he’ll be in heaven for at least 20 minutes. One of his favorite things is to move his clothes into piles, rearrange them, and then put them into different piles. It cracks me up!

We celebrated Braden’s birthday in style! We started off the day having breakfast at RJ’s Cafe. Braden got to enjoy a short stack all to himself! Then while he took his morning nap in the car, I drove down to meet his dad at the San Diego Zoo! What a great day! We got to see, Koala’s, Giraffes, Flamingos, Elephants, a Rhino, Polar Bears, Pelicans, Gorillas, and Fish.  I think the fish were his favorite since he got to be up close and personal with them.

The next day we had his birthday party with family and friends – Thomas the Train themed of course! There was a trackless train that came to give us all a ride. It was awesome and hilarious. I wish every birthday party could be like that. The party went by in a blur, but it was really fun watching Braden play with his friends, enjoy his cake and ride the train. Is it too early to start planning next years birthday?

The month to month milestones have come to an end. It’s bittersweet to end that chapter in Braden’s life, but I am really looking forward on what’s to come – walking and talking to name a couple!

Braden, I love you so much more each and every day. It warms my heart that you still love to be snuggled, and kissed. The way you crawl up my lap for a big hug, is the sweetest thing I’ll ever know. Please don’t ever stop – your hugs will be forever welcomed.

I love you my butternut squash 😉




Happy Birthday

I remember…

As Braden’s first birthday approaches I am becoming more and more nostalgic to relive this time last year. The end of pregnancy is such a daunting time.. All you can think about is wanting him/her here. But looking back, I wish I would have relished in that last month a little bit more. I miss it terribly these days. I miss giving labor! What a strange thing to miss. But I would do it all over again if i could. I still remember every moment of those last few hours. True, it was a horrid thing to have my epidural fall out, and to casually vomit a few times. But, it was all worth it to lead up to the most beautiful moment of Braden making his first appearance into the world.
I remember I pushed for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
I remember feeling my stomach with my right hand as it was slowly going down, as Braden slowly was making his way out.
I remember my sister crying out his name, “Braden!”.
I remember looking at his dad in disbelief that he survived.
And I remember finally getting to hold Braden after what felt like an eternity.
To hold your baby for the time is something you only get to experience once. And I hope I remember that moment for the rest of my life.
Braden, you are my miracle baby and I love you eternally.
Your mama xoxo


I remember…

11 months of milestones

Birthdays. So many first birthdays have approached. The year flew by so quickly. I can’t believe this is the month I can officially call my baby a baby. Well, Braden will always be my baby.

We’ve been blessed to celebrate a few first birthday parties so far. It’s always so fun to watch Braden interact with his friends. He is quite the social butterfly! He loves every person that comes across them – welcoming everyone with a smile and maybe even a slight giggle.

My sister and I took Braden to Camp Snoopy (https://www.knotts.com). Of course, it happened to be the hottest day of the year. But, I lathered Braden down with some SPF, his trusty hat and away we went. He absolutely LOVED meeting the Easter Beagle, riding the balloon ride and smiling for the camera. He was a little apprehensive about the loud roller coaster noises and H A T E D the camp bus ride. It had a slight drop where it made your tummy flip, and I had no idea that was going to happen! I felt so bad because he truly was excited to be sitting in the “bus” and then the first drop happened. Those little tears came streaming down his face so fast. I felt terrible, and the worst part was I couldn’t do anything about it! I have newfound love for https://disneyland.disney.go.com. I feel like that would have never happened in Fantasyland…but to each their own! All in all, it was fun but I don’t think we will be going back for another year 🙂

It was also Braden’s first easter this month. He genuinely loved the Easter Bunny….I thought for sure he was going to be terrified, but he thought he was the funniest thing he’s ever seen. I took Braden to a HUGE Easter Egg Hunt in San Clemente. It was really cute to “hunt” for eggs. Braden caught three eggs and placed them nicely in his basket. AH! I just love him so much. How cute is that!? We got to spend Easter Sunday with all of our family, and it was really awesome to see him play with his cousins. I hope they remain friends as time goes on.

Braden loves to say “bye bye”, “mama”, his version of “grandma” and “papa” and an occasional “dada”. It’s truly special to watch him learn the English language. I can ask him where his books and balls are, and he will go over and show me. He loves to throw his balls over the banister, watch me run down the stairs and throw them back up to him. It may be tedious but his laugh is worth every minute of it.

He has taken a real love for hugging. I even was able to tell him to give a friend a hug, and he did it! It was so sweet. I hope he stays this sweet forever.

Now I must get back to first birthday party planning. I am so excited….it’s a little crazy, but who cares! He’ll only turn 1, once!

I love you so much my little button

your mama xoxox


11 months of milestones

A little moment

Sometimes I lay awake and watch him sleep.
Sometimes he holds out his little hand, searching for mine.
I think about his future and how big it is. So much growing to do.
I still can’t fathom that I get to know him for the rest of my life.
It still feels like this isn’t real. That this is just a fleeting moment of pure happiness.
I hope I stay forever grateful, forever blessed; to be a mother – his mother.
Because I definitely don’t deserve it.
Thank you.
Sometimes I have to make time to let it all sink in.
Sometimes a little moment is all I need.


A little moment

9 months of milestones

9 months. Almost a year. My little baby is slowly turning into a toddler. Things that meant so much, no longer hold the same; how much does he weigh, how many weeks is he? For the curious he’s 19lb 12oz, and I have no idea how many weeks he is.

We’ve had a fun month of eating good food (lemons included), train rides, picnics, gymboree classes, great-grandparent visits and a 30th birthday celebration. I feel blessed to share these moments with my son.

My inquisitive little nugget is so intrigued with the world around him. Passerby’s often exclaim how observant he is. Never missing a beat. Discovering the trash man was terrifying yet exciting! I hope he always stays this wide eyed – living as though everything is a miracle. Shouldn’t we all do the same?

Doing any sort of task within the house is a chore all on its own. Braden is determined to climb the stairs, head for the rocks in the fireplace, grasp the puppy food in the dog bowl, get into anything in the forbidden room, tear apart the toilet paper in the bathroom, splash in the spa, pull puppy tails, and open and shut any and all doors. By the end of the day I’ve never felt more exhausted. But I think that’s because I’ll do anything for a Braden giggle. Just the other day I must have run past him, back and forth 20 times. He thought it was the funniest thing. Or blanket rides around the downstairs. What a treat he thought that was! He gets such a thrill out of those simple pleasures.

Braden isn’t walking yet, just sidestepping along. He looks at me like I’m nuts when I try to get him to hold onto something and walk forward. I think he’s thinking, “umm, why don’t I just sit down and crawl? Way easier mama…” Which is fine by me! Less chasing after him … For now at least!

The babbling – ” talking ” is becoming more and more frequent. Baba, mama and duh duh are his favorite words to say. The more teeth he sprouts the better his vocabulary grows. It’s really exciting to watch him learn.

I still can’t believe almost a year has passed. But I think for now I’m going to relish in baby cuddles for as long as I can. I sure will miss them when they’re gone.

Stay sweet my precious boy!
I love you!!
Your mama

9 months of milestones

A little rough patch

I, well I should say we – Braden and I, had a rough couple of days. The sleep “issue” was getting to both of us. He was doing so great, we had a really good routine down. But then a wonder week happened. Although I didn’t know it was a wonder week, and I was left dumbfounded by his sudden change in sleep habits.
He was waking all the time. I’d rock him to sleep, lay him down and boom up!
Naps were about 20 minutes long at best.
I couldn’t stand it anymore and I thought this is it. I’m going to “sleep train”. Cry it out. Anything. I need a change. I need to fix this.
I tried to do the 5-10-15 minute checks, nothing but tears.
I tried sleeping on couch pillows in his room, but he just cried harder. Not understanding why I wasn’t picking him up.
Then I resorted to a true cry it out. Hours of crying. Watching him on the monitor fall asleep standing up in the crib. It was heartbreaking. And then very frustrating after he woke 45 minutes later.
I lasted a full 24 hours. So many tears, neither of us slept, and I felt guilty. He was so miserably exhausted, no Braden smiles and giggles. When he was awake he clung to me more than ever. Probably worrying I was going to leave him again. I think I cried harder than he did. In the end I decided it wasn’t worth it. Whatever sleep issue he had was fine. I would deal with it. Just no more nonsense sleep training.
I think I was trying to aim for something that just wasn’t working for us. I heard about all these babies that were sleeping through the night, and I was jealous. I wanted that to. I wanted a quick fix. But it’s not in the cards for us. I have to accept that every baby and every mom is different. We have to do whatever we feel is best for our babies.
So I went back to basics. We cuddled all night long and he slept for 12 hours. My happy Braden was there to greet me in the morning with a sweet gentle kiss on my nose.
After a couple days he trusted me again to sleep in his crib. Of course at night time he joins me in my bed halfway through the night. And it’s okay. This works for us. I need to stop trying to obtain something that isn’t us. He is still a baby, and I need to stop pushing him to grow up so fast. One day he won’t want to be anywhere near me, so why not enjoy it now? Who cares where he sleeps!? It’s not going to damage him as a person. I have a sensitive baby that needs his mama. And hey, why not give him what he needs? Isn’t that what I’m here for?
Love you my sweet baby boy!
Your mama xo




A little rough patch

sleepy smiles

When Braden was a newborn he used to smile in his sleep a lot. I just thought he was practicing his smile muscles. Is that a normal thing babies do? I’m not sure. I do know that I used to love watching him sleep to catch a glimpse of a smile.
Today, Braden will occasionally “practice” his smile in his sleep. If I’m lucky I will catch one as I look back at him sleeping in the car seat, or when I’m laying him down in his crib. I wonder when this will stop or if he’ll do this forever. It’s these simple times that I want to remember and be grateful for.
Love you buccaneer!
Your mama


sleepy smiles

8 months of milestones

How did another month go by so quickly? Time seems to be flying by faster as Braden gets older. Perhaps it’s because he continues to grow into a toddler –  no longer my little newborn baby. I’ve never been a “baby person” but I really did enjoy his newborn baby stage. However, it seems to be a lot more fun watching him learn and develop new things. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I miss being able to lay him on the floor so I can grab the laundry and not worry about him crawling away. But, there is something so great about being there to watch him learn something new. The simple things we take for granted.

Braden has taken the big leap into side stepping. His favorite place is to go along the coffee table. He loves to “chase” the coasters around the table. Once he felt more comfortable with that he started to transfer from couch to coffee table. I’m so excited for him to walk, and watch him achieve that all on his own. I feel like one day he’s just going to let go and take off.

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Braden also braved the stairs. It made me so nervous. But I think it’s better to let him learn, so that he can feel confident doing it. He still doesn’t understand the space around him. He will climb a stair and want to sit down behind him, but he doesn’t get that he will fall. So of course he took a tumble down one stair. I was so sad and felt like a horrible mother. He dried his tears quicker than I did.

I think the most special moment of this month is when Braden started to babble. It started off slowly with a, “Ma”. Then the next day a lot of “baba’s” and “dada’s”. The following day…a “mama”. A real “mama”! I couldn’t believe it. I was standing in the kitchen cutting up some pears for Braden. He crawled over, pulled himself up on my leg, looked at me and said, “mama…mama..mamamamama… mama”. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT! I mean…my heart melted. I didn’t know what to do. I’m pretty sure I just stood there speechless, watching him. My own son knows my name! It was the most magical word that I could ever hear…and I will never forget that moment. I haven’t been lucky enough to catch it on camera, but I did catch a few babbles. I love him so.

He’s working on his first and second tooth right now, so the nights are a bit rough. It doesn’t matter though. He keeps getting cuter and cuter every day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love you!!


your MAMA : )





8 months of milestones


It is a known fact that hate is learned and love is innate. I have never been more sure of this until now. The world through Braden’s eyes is trusting, forgiving and loving. He knows nothing of discrimination – and I wish so deeply that his world would stay that way. I know that inevitably his world will be more than just the familiarity of home, and I hope that as his mother I will have been more than just that. I hope that I will be the teacher he needs. I want to teach him to always love, to always forgive and to never hold onto feelings of hatred.

The other day we were at the farmers market stocking up on veggies for the week. This is the place where Braden gets the most attention. But, it was after this recent trip I realized how welcoming Braden was to every person that garnered him with love. Numerous people love to come up to his stroller to share a smile, a kind word, or a simple wave. Braden loves it – he loves attention (but who doesn’t!). Without hesitation he returns the gesture with a generous smile, the kind that goes from ear to ear. His arms and legs pumping with happiness. Perhaps a little sound of a Braden “Hello” is heard. It warms my heart to see him open is heart to these kind people. He does not care what color, shape or size , rich or poor they are – just the fact that they are adoring him. He is the happiest baby I know (sorry to all other babies). I love that. My heart is so full of love whenever I think about how much joy radiates from him. How did I get so blessed to have such a happy boy? Shouldn’t we all be like that?

It really got me thinking about my own behavior. I wouldn’t categorize myself as someone who discriminates, or hates. But, I think now is the time to really be aware of my surroundings, my words, my actions. Everything I do is involuntarily teaching him to do the same. We all learn from what we see and hear. So, I’m making a personal vow to be the person that I want my son to grow up to be. The role model he deserves to have. I no doubt will make mistakes along the way. But what’s the point of living if we aren’t always striving to be better than the person we were yesterday?

I love you dearly my beautiful son,

your mama xo



7 months (and some change) of milestones!

I ran into a friend a little while back, and she asked how Braden was doing. I told her he was amazing (of course). She then asked me how it was to raise a baby – but before I could respond she said, well actually it’s more like he’s raising himself. This comment really stuck with me. She is absolutely correct. He is raising himself. He’s teaching himself how to crawl, pull himself up, and stand on his own two feet. I am merely there for words of wisdom, kind encouragement and  loving guidance. I parent him, but I think it’s equally important to let him learn on his own. Of course, I am there for the falls, tears, hugs and kisses. But watching him learn to challenge himself to become mobile has been such a special treat.

I wasn’t expecting him to crawl at 6 months, but he was ready. Not long after crawling (on Christmas Eve!) he quickly pulled himself up and loves to stand! His favorite place to pull up is on the wine the cabinet. I think it’s because it’s glass; he can see in but also a reflection of himself or whoever is behind him. AND their is a bar he holds onto that he loves to gum on. It’s a great distraction when I am trying to cook!

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Braden is officially teething! The top and bottom 2 teeth are coming in strong. I have yet to see any break through the gums yet, but they are making their way. Whenever I ask Braden to show me his teeth – he just sticks out his tongue. He’s still in love with tongue.

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Speaking of his tongue….he gives me kisses now! It’s more like a French kiss, and you may or may not be stuck with a hickey afterwards, but regardless – they are kisses. The sweetest kisses I will ever know.

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He was able to move up a level in Gymboree. I was so glad since he is just a mobile monster! He really enjoys playing with everything each week. His favorite is to climb up the cheese mat, crawl through the tunnel, listen to his teacher sing, and watch the tiny bubbles. I look forward to going every Thursday.

I am terrified that he may be walking at 9 months. What will I do?! I guess I will just have to wait and see. Such a strong and smart boy I have. But I am so grateful for every day. It’s a true joy to watch him grow and be more independent.

I love you so much my little cuddler. I look forward to your snuggles every day. What a love bucket you are.

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your mama xox

7 months (and some change) of milestones!