Piper’s 10 Months!

The last month has been such a joy watching Piper grow beyond her months. I watch her with complete disbelief in what she is able to do and I try to mentally prepare myself for what I speculate is going to be a relatively stressful ride through toddlerdom and teenagehood with this brave, invincible, social, happy, stubborn little human being.

When other people hang out with Piper we almost always hear two things:

Wow, she never stops moving!


I’ve never seen a baby smile so much.

Both comments are always taken mostly well, but it’s not until you spend time with this gal on a daily basis for ten months that you really start to understand her courage. She literally tried to crawl off the changing table. I let go of her and right as she was about to go over I caught her legs. When she first started walking, she just kept trying to walk everywhere even though she was completely falling all over the place. It was like the phrase “no pain, no gain” was somehow pre-programmed into her cute little head. 

I can also see her learning very quickly how to get what she wants from her very independent, ruling big sister. She’s scrappy and I keep warning Ellie that she better be nice to her because one day Piper is going to be big enough to take things back and push back. She doesn’t listen, just like I never listened. And then my brother actually did get bigger than me, but I lucked out because he was nice enough not to beat up on me. 

Piper has two teeth and she’s eating pretty much everything we are, but we just blend it up. Here is her ten month pic, which we took before dinner so as to avoid particles of cauliflower and pork showing up in places they really should never be. 

Ten Month Piper

Piper’s Walking!

For the past week or two, I’ve been hesitant to confirm it for sure, but I’m confident now that Piper is walking. It’s been challenging to get the evidence on video, as her walks normally last about 5 seconds, but I did manage to get a few steps a few days ago.


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A few steps!

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With Ellie we never really baby-proofed too much. We did the usual outlet plugs and a few cabinet clips, but nothing major. With Piper, we’re pretty sure the house needs to be totally retrofitted! This little lady loves to get into everything and now that she’s on the move she’s exploring to her hearts content. Yesterday she got out parts to our mandoline, which Brian discovered after several minutes. We’re lucky she didn’t slice anything on her cute little self – parent fail. Cabinet Clips – here we come!

Family Photos 2014

I remember being a kid and going to the family photo shoots. My brother and sister were always terribly unexcited about it, whereas I always thought it was a fun reason to get all dressed up. Now that we’ve got two little peanuts to dress up, my excitement has more than doubled! We decided to do our family photo shoot this year with Sasha Reiko. Sasha was great to shoot with. She wasn’t a weirdo (we’ve all had those weirdo photographers, right?), she was good with the kids, she was efficient and I think the pics turned out great. I’m so excited to print a couple off to hang in the house. Sharing for your viewing pleasure:


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography


All images © 2000-2013 by Sasha Reiko Photography

Mother’s Day 2014

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and although it was not my first Mother’s Day, it was my first Mother’s Day as Piper’s mom and my first Mother’s Day as a mom of two dumplings.  The girl’s teacher had them make me the sweetest little gifts: hands and feet stamped on paper and framed. I made a reservation at Salty’s for brunch at 9:45 for us and my Mom and Grandy quite some time ago. It’s a bit of a Mother’s Day tradition and we beat the crowds, so it wasn’t madness and chaos.

Salty's on Redondo is a Mother's Day Tradition

Salty’s on Redondo is a Mother’s Day Tradition

Ellie played on the beach afterward with Grandy and Tutu to her heart’s content. She got her dress soaking wet in the waves, but it was definitely worth it. Piper fell asleep easily to the sound of the waves on the beach. I was extremely happy because I managed to not stuff myself to the gills by focusing on Dungeness crab, lox and clams. I did treat myself to a little cheese blintz though…who can resist?

She probably did this over ten times - a good workout for Grandy and Tutu

She probably did this over ten times – a good workout for Grandy and Tutu

We got home, the girls took a nap and I got a 20 minute cat nap. This was quite a treat considering my red eye flight to Toronto last Wednesday night, two days full of meetings and then flying back on Friday night. I’m pretty sure I’m still tired from that trip, but it’s really difficult to differentiate between work trip tired and mom of two tired.

After naps, Brian loaded up the car and we headed to a park down the street for a little picnic. It was such a pleasant afternoon. We laid in the sun (Ellie slathered in sunscreen, Piper in her sun tent), and nibbled on cheese, salami and crackers, chocolate covered bananas and strawberries. It was so much fun to just play at the park. The best part though was going down the spiral slide. I haven’t really gone on a slide for quite some time and the first time I went down I screamed with excitement – perhaps the Margarita Brian packed in our picnic had a little to do with that well??? Regardless, it was a lot of fun.

Piper loved playing in the sun tent, but mostly loved trying to stand up the whole time.

Piper loved playing in the sun tent, but mostly loved trying to stand up the whole time.

I’ve always enjoyed Mother’s Day. Growing up, I saw my Mom work so hard – literally all the time in one way or another – and when Mother’s Day came there was never any deserved perspective. I never really got the sense that my mom thought it was her day. I think she just appreciated that it was a holiday to instill gratitude, a valuable quality. The fact that it was for her was irrelevant I think. I’m starting to really understand that now that I’m a Mum. I think frequently about all the other moms out there, all the moms and all the women. A mom is big part of who we are, but it’s not the only part. I am a very lucky mom really. I am fortunate to have a husband, who frankly puts up with a bit of emotion here and there from me. I am fortunate to have two very healthy happy girls. I am fortunate to have an amazing Mom as a role model in my life.  There are lots of Mom’s out there who may not be so fortunate but we are all fortunate for the amazing little spirits we brought into this world or take care of in this world on a daily basis. And to me, that is what being a Mom is all about.

Piper’s 5 Months

Tonight’s photo shoot for Piper’s five month picture was definitely the most eventful thus far. To start with, I’m miserably sick. I reluctantly started an antibiotic yesterday, so hopefully I’ll be good as new soon. Piper’s been sick for the past four days or so, but she is definitely doing a lot better now. I’d knock on wood and say she’ll be 100% by the weekend. Ellie seems like she might be getting sick and I think Brian is just sick of everyone being sick and sick of knowing he’s likely next to be sick. 

It took me about 20 minutes to find the dang SD card to shoot this picture, which was honestly a nightmare of a time. How is it that there are likely 6 SD cards somewhere in the house and I cannot find one that will work? There are worse things in the world, people, I am aware. But when your head feels like it’s waterlogged and you have the energy of a turtle, looking for an SD card and doing a baby photo shoot with a toddler on your tail is quite trying.

Alas, the photo was taken and all is well. After I took the photo of Piper, Ellie hopped in the chair and said “Mommy take a picture of Ellie now.” So I have a cute little picture of Piper, freshly bathed with a hot pink bow on her head and a fun picture of Ellie, sans bath with my least favorite (but her favorite) pajamas, with two headbands 80’s style – and she couldn’t be more happy!




Ellie is such a little love bug. I can tell already the type of woman she is going to grow into and I know I’m going to be so proud of her. As a toddler it can be challenging. The most important thing for me is finding the right way to talk to her to get her little two year old brain to understand and respond accordingly. For the most part I think we do a good job, but there are definitely times I feel like a bad mom. I think I’m be pretty abnormal if I never had any of those moments. I just do the best I can and give myself a break when my best isn’t “good enough.” It reminds me of sports really, continually striving to improve, but accepting defeat when it happens. 

Piper is so crazy happy it baffles me. She’s been sick and all she does is smile smile smile. I love it so much; it just warms my heart to see her smile. She’s also very motivated. She’s been up on her hands and knees rocking like crazy. Sometimes she rocks so hard she falls on her face. And then she just gets right back up, excited to try again. She also does this thing where she gets up on her toes and her hands. I’m not sure where she thinks she’ll go like that, but I’m sure she’s having a lot of fun. She also has fun eating and constantly tries to grab for her spoon, thus flinging food in multiple directions. Piper loves grabbing her toes and putting them in her mouth and she’s now also grabbing her ears. I think Piper is going to grow into one of those people who’s super chill and relaxed, but when it comes to the things she cares about, she’ll throw a fit.

I like to make hypothesis about their personalities, but the truth is I don’t know how they’ll evolve. All I can do is love them and try as hard as I can to support them in becoming true to themselves.

Going back to Work is Comedy

So this was my third week back at work since having my little Miss Piper bug. I miss her so, but I am definitely pleased with her care arrangement and know she’s in amazing hands, albeit not as amazing as mine! Being at work these weeks has some pretty funny thoughts going through my head, none of which I allow to come out of my mouth, all of which I am happy to share with any curious readers.

Because I’ve been a mom now for over two years, or approximately 6.25% of my life, I’ve started to forget what reality was like prior to having children. I was in a meeting my first day back with a childless single individual and he asked me how things are going being back at work. I told him “I miss my girls so much, but honestly being back at work is a bit of a break compared to the work of being a full time mom.” He looked at me perplexed and said “Why?” In my head I wanted to laugh as hard as I could. And then I remembered I used to be clueless about these types of things too. I always had respect for full time moms and working moms, but I didn’t really KNOW what their life was like. I would never have really thought it was the hardest job in the world. So rather than laugh in his face, I simply said “Being a full time mom is the hardest work ever. There is a human being that cannot leave you for a moment and you never get a break. Even when they sleep there is a lengthy list of things to do and you’re always on their clock.”  Enough said because just like my former self, he probably won’t get it until he has kids.

The other comedic thoughts that run through my head relate to the “mother’s room.” Although these thoughts do not get graphic, if conversations about nursing and pumping gross you out, please stop reading now.  When I returned to work, the first thing on my agenda was to find the Mother’s Room.

Step 1: Find the physical location of the Mother’s Room: check.

Step 2: Try to use the Mother’s Room: UNcheck.

Why is there a lock on the Mother’s Room? How do I obtain a key? So I start asking around. I instant message a mom co-worker: how do I get into the Mother’s Room?!?!

I ask a friend of mine with kids; he’s clueless.

So I go to the handy dandy intranet and find this: “a key to the Mother’s Room must be obtained 10 days in advance.” What?!?! Sorry I’m not better at planning, but the last thing on my mind ten days before I returned to work is how I was going to get access to the room to make bottles for my bug. So I email the alias, apologize for the urgency of the matter, but request a key as quickly as possible because at this point I feel like I just might explode. Luckily the very helpful person on the other end of my email had a key I could pick up right away.

The rooms at my work are really quite nice. There are nice magazines, pictures of fellow employees babies, napkins, permanant markers, a fridge, really everything a gal could need. But I can’t help but think these thoughts in my head:

  1. On my way to the Mother’s Room: “I hope no one knows what this super attractive tote is I’m carrying, but I’m sure everyone does. I especially hope the device inside doesn’t randomly turn on at my desk or as I’m walking to the Mothers Room – I’m pretty sure I would turn bright red and likely spill the entire contents of the bag trying to find the device to turn it off!”
  2. As I walk into or out of the Mothers Room: “I hope no one sees me going in or coming out of this room and if they do I hope they don’t think about what I’m going in there to do. But they probably will think about it…I would. Oh well, gotta do what ya gotta do.”
  3. As I am in the Mothers Room doing my business: “I hope no one can hear what I’m doing in here, but I’m sure they can. I can hear other people when they’re in here. And I hope no one can see through these attractive mini-blinds.”
  4. As I’m leaving the Mothers Room: “Do I have all my clothes on?!?! How embarrassing would it be to accidentally open the door without my shirt on?!?! Or what if I dropped my milk between the Mothers Room and the freezer – that would be mortifying!”

All in all, going back to work is extremely difficult. But I also have the perspective that I’m pretty lucky to have a great job, an understanding boss and a realistic workload. It’s really not fair for me to complain when I was fortunate enough to take four months off and at least I have a job, right? There are lots of people in this world that have more to complain about, so I try to keep my eye on the positives and snuggle with my little munchkins as much as possible during the time I have with them.

Piper’s First Roll

Wow, a busy week thus far! Piper has been working very hard to roll from her back to her front for a few days now and today she accomplished her mission. I didn’t get the first roll on video, but I set her down and she did it again, so I set her down a third time and turned on the camera. 

While this is wonderful and joyous, especially being that she did this on my last day of maternity leave, there are some unforeseen downsides. Like now all she wants to do is roll over. And by all, I mean ALL. I think this girl might be some sort of perfectionist. I’ve gotten her all the way to sleep several times. I put her in the crib, I hold my hand on her belly to make her feel secure and comforted and she falls into a deep sleep. Then about 15 minutes later, she rolls over. It would be fine if she stayed asleep, but of course that is not the case. I think sleeping in a sleep sack took Ellie a couple of days to get used to, so maybe that’s what we’re dealing with here. Now that I see her doing this in her sleep in the sleep sack, it’s apparent to me that she has been trying to roll for the last several nights in her swaddle, which is why she’s been waking up and I’ve been getting up so frequently. Argh…an awesome beautiful thing, but still with it’s challenges. At the end of the day, I will just keep reminding myself how happy I am I got to see this milestone for the first time and how excited I am for her that’s she’s reached this stage in her development. 

Going Back to Work Blues

I’m getting ready to go back to work next week and as most Moms can understand, I’ve got the going back to work blues. It’s not that I don’t love my job or the company I work for; I just don’t want to leave my little P-nut. I had the same feeling when I went back to work with Ellie. At the end of the day, not only do I not want to leave my girls, I’m worried the house is going to fall apart and my already incredibly busy schedule is just going to get worse. As I deal with the agony of going back to work, I’m reminded of a wonderful blog post I read a few months ago.

I love that she talks about Mom guilt and how no matter whether you’re a stay at home mom or a working mom, you have mom guilt about your decision. Somehow it makes me feel a little more connected and supported to read that moms everywhere have this feeling, whether they go back to work or stay at home. 

This is my absolute favorite part of this blog post and I can relate to it so much. Maybe I should stop kicking my own ass, eh?

“Mommy Guilt is like that scene from “Liar Liar” in which Jim Carrey enters a bathroom, throws himself against the walls, slams his head into the toilet, and rubs soap into his eyes. When a confused observer asks what on Earth he’s doing he says, ‘I WAS KICKIN’ MY ASS! DO YA MIND?'”

Ellie’s Second Birthday

We celebrated Ellie’s 2nd birthday yesterday at WiggleWorks and it seemed like she had a great time with all her buddies! The beautiful thing about getting a bunch of little ones together is they make some very adorable photos. Click on the images for a larger slideshow:

At two years old, Ellie is definitely a sweetheart and her words (of which there are many) mostly melt my heart. She is also definitely in the terrible twos stage. Twice now she has just started yelling “no” over and over again for seemingly no apparent reason. It’s like she just likes the sound of it. I almost wanted to video record it because it was so funny.

Ellie’s favorite things to do include the following:

  • Reading
  • Singing, especially The Wheels on the Bus and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Playing with her dollies
  • Washing the windows
  • Saying her ABC’s and counting to 10
  • Playing with all her buddies at school and out of school

Right now we’re working a lot on cleaning up after we make messes, putting only food and drink in her mouth and listening. Listening is probably the most difficult of the three at this point.

Ellie really loves her little sister Piper. She gives her hugs and kisses all the time and for some reason especially loves kissing each of her ears.

In the last three months we’ve begun potty training. She’s mastered it mostly, with the exception of #2’s. A few weeks ago she also transitioned to her big girl bed, which has proven to illustrate her expertise at fleeing her room and running directly into Mom and Dad’s room to sleep with them.

It’s crazy to look back at how much has changed in the last year, but even crazier to think about the last two. Our lives have definitely changed significantly since having children.  While Brian and I always liked to keep a busy social and professional calendar prior to kids, our calendars are even more full now with things that don’t actually go on a calendar.

We think a lot about how we’re raising our kids and hope we’re doing the right things. It’s always hard to know. So far though, we’re very excited about what Ellie’s learned and the little person she has become. She’s really a love bug and we just want to hug and kiss her all the time!

Happy birthday little peanut!

P.S.: If you’re reading this it would really be great if you could finish this terrible two’s stage ASAP and sleep in your awesome big girl bed through the night…pretty please!

Piper turns 3 Months

Piper turned 3 months old on Sunday, the day the Hawks won the Superbowl! 

She’s all smiles all the time now and all she wants to do is sit up or stand. She seems like she’s trying to talk to us all the time. She’s very amused by funny noises, so every once in awhile we make baby noises and funny faces. Outside of that she sleeps, eats and poops, just like your typical 3 month old. 


Since we’re from and live in Seattle, we are obviously very excited about the Seahawks winning the Superbowl. We were fortunate to catch a family pic on game day of everyone in their Hawks gear. 


Last but certainly not least, Ellie is having so much fun at school and she’s very fond of her classmate Lucy. Her teacher took such a sweet picture of the two of them hugging, which I just had to share.