Monday, February 23, 2015



I unearthed our newborn clothes and I think we're ready!

If the pile looks small, that's because it is.

But it's plenty.

I've pared down the stash to our absolute favorites. 

After having two other newborns to dress, I've learned that--although cute--the multi layer, multi piece outfits just end up sitting in our drawers unworn. My kids live in one piece sleepers for the first couple of months, so I ended up donating all of our unworn items to a mom in need.

Sal helped me pick a drawer in our kids' dresser, and we spent a few minutes putting them away and talking about how little the baby will be. I showed him a photo of himself wearing the polar bear sleeper pictured up top as I explained that these clothes used to be his.


He exclaimed, "ohh, dat's a weally cute baby!" 

Yes, Sal. You were (and still are). 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A date with Sal

Our life has been full steam ahead since our return. I don't think either of us anticipated just how much work repatriating and remodeling would turn out to be. 

Last weekend we took a break and went to the beach with the kids. It felt good. We've talked about doing one on one dates with our kids for a while, and since both NZ and Carla have been sidelined with terrible colds this weekend, I decided that I'd take Sal on a one on one date today and leave the sickly at home. 

I told him we could go anywhere he wanted today. Without skipping a beat, he tells me he wants to "go to da mall". I ask if he's sure that's where he wants to go and he says yes. I asked what we would do on our mall date and he said "we will share a lemonade". 

So, that's exactly what we did. 

We did a little walking and window shopping and ran around the playground once or twice before heading to the bookstore to read a few books together. After the bookstore, we headed to Wetzel's for a pretzel and lemonade. 

We happily devoured our pretzel and lemonade and headed back home to take a nice long afternoon "rest". 

Watching my big kid sleep always reminds me that he is still in fact-my baby. In a matter of weeks his life will change yet again, as he will have to share his mama with yet another sibling. But for today, his mama was his all his. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Beach babies

Last weekend Nick and I were both burnt out. We've been going full throttle since his return to the states back in November--tag teaming kids and errands and marking things off the to-do list that still seems never ending. 

Yesterday, we took a much needed break and drove up to The Ventura Pier with the kids and Nick's dad for a beach day. 

This was Carla's first "taste" of being mobile on the beach. The only other times we have taken her, she was in the stroller or ergo carrier for the majority of our visits. 


She loved it. 

Especially digging with her brother when he'd share our only kid's bucket. Now I've got good reason to make a Target trip this week. We NEED more sand toys. Sharing is not one of Sal's strong points as of late. Please let this phase be a quick one.

                                note to self: I'm like reeeeeaaaaly pregnant. Whoa. 

Sal made lots of castles. He's quite the engineer in training. I think he could've spent all day digging and building, and had very little interest in actually going in the ocean. 


We stopped for lunch on our way home, and talked about how we need to make a better effort to slow down and take more beach days. Not everyone has the luxury of the beach in their backyard...we would be stupid not to take advantage of this beautiful area we call home. 

Chores can wait another day, right?

Monday, February 2, 2015

32 weeks pregnant

                            [celebrating a college roommate's baby-to-be last weekend]
Weight gain: 16 lbs 

Maternity clothes? Yes! Hello dresses! Thanks to some warm weather, I'm sporting my pasty white legs under some maternity dresses which are so incredibly comfortable. 

Stretch marks? Couldn't tell you. Can't see south of my belly button.

Sleep: Better. Ever since we moved back into our house, and our amazingly comfortable bed, I've been sleeping pretty well. I've had a few difficult nights here and there, but overall, doing alright.

Best moment this week: Spending afternoons in our backyard, watching the kids play (and eat dirt) while enjoying some sunshine. 

Miss anything?: Being able to breathe. I am always short of breath these days. 

Movement: Yes....he's at the point where movement has gone from cute little kicks to "oh my God you've got to stop kicking my bladder before I pee my pants!". 

Food cravings: chocolate milk. I've had seven in a week and am already craving another make it eight by night's end. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of microwaved popcorn. Sal requests popcorn daily, and Nick likes it at night, so I feel like it's some cruel joke the universe is playing on me. 

Gender: Boy

Happy or Moody? Moody. I've got quite a lot of tears and they appear randomly. I have a melt down at least once a week out of complete exhaustion. 

Looking forward to: Getting one week closer to my due date! 

Carla is ONE!

Before I'm an entire month late writing this post, I'd better get to it!

Carla turned one a few weeks ago.

I have to say, this last year has flown by...with her birth, a couple great vacations, moving back to the USA, then back into our this whole new baby being added to the mix...Carla's first year was full of change!

We had her one year check up last Friday. 

Girlfriend weighed in at 20lbs, 6oz and measured 30.5" tall. I was so proud of her, standing so patiently on the big kid scale to be weighed! Where'd my baby go?!

She had her vision screening, and braved her one year shots like a champ. With the recent outbreak of measles in our local community, I was eager to get her first round of the MMR done so she at least has some fighting chance of resisting it if we've gone somewhere she may be exposed to it. This whole outbreak scares the sh!t out of me, although I'm sure we were exposed to some nasty stuff in China, but just didn't know. This too shall pass, right? 

Carla has a handful of words--dada, bah (ball), dah (dog), mama & baba. She also makes vroom sounds when driving Sal's matchbox cars around the house. Her favorite toy these days is her new cozy coupe that her aunt and uncle gifted her. She climbs in and out, opens and shuts the door, and Fred Flinstones it around the yard. 

Her walking has progressed from a drunken sailor to being able to walk with direction....she even dances and walks in circles if we play her jam. It's super cute.

We've been waiting on more teeth since October--she still has only six chompers. Every time she is grumpy, or wakes in the middle of the night, I claim she must be getting teeth, yet, there are none to be found. Sigh. 

My favorite part about Carla turning one? 

Watching her and Sal play together. It's still cooperation one minute and beat downs the next, but I absolutely melt when they play together in the yard, or when she follows Sal around trying to imitate whatever he is doing. I've got hope that one day soon, they will be best buddies.

 Happy one year, lil bit! We are so lucky to have you to call our own. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Full hands

While standing in line at Target this morning with the infamous double cart--one kid trying to wriggle out, and another sitting in the basket already opening a gift meant for his cousin, I heard a familiar phrase uttered my way.

"Boy, you have your hands full. And oh! Looks like they're about to become even fuller!"

Is this just something people say because they don't know what else to say? Is it something they say because of personal experience? Is the prospect of having three children so foreign to people these days?  Are they saying it with a negative connotation? 

 I always wonder.

And I never know exactly how to answer.

Because sometimes I'd have to agree.. Like when my son was peeing in the toilet before we left the house this morning and hollers at me that his sister has just thrown his skate shoe in the toilet. I walk in to find him fishing his shoe out of the toilet and dumping pee water all over the bathroom rug while Carla goes in to grab toilet paper that hadn't yet flushed (ick, I know!). At those moments, I'd have to agree. My hands are full. 

But then we have moments where everything just clicks. 

And my hands don't feel full at all. They feel ready to tackle another newborn. 

Moments where I'm able to sit back and watch my two kids become playmates. Moments where they're each doing their own thing and out of anybody else's business. Moments where our schedule goes off without a hitch, or even better, when a hitch happens and we get through it on our best behavior. These moments are fleeting, but they do happen. 

Life with little kids is busy. I won't lie. 

My floors aren't always clean, and sometimes I forget to change a diaper after naptime. Sometimes my dishwasher sits for a few days before being emptied. Sometimes I forget to pick up my husband's dry cleaning, when it was my only errand for the day. 

That's just life, no matter how many kids you have.

But in the grand scheme of things, my hands are full in a very GOOD way. I wouldn't have it any other way. We are excited to have another baby joining our family. I sometimes want to tell the people who tell me my hands are full (with a look of pity in their eyes) that I like it this way, and that I wish they were fuller. 

I'm not talking Duggar family full, but there's a certain almost six year old daughter I sure would've liked to make my hands one child fuller. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sal is 3

Sal turned three on Tuesday the 13th!


He's been loving the temperate weather and being able to ride his quad in our backyard anytime he wants. He's finally embracing the outdoors and waits with baited breath for the neighborhood kids to get home from school each afternoon so they can play with him.


He's shed the last of his babyness and is a full fledged little boy. 

A little boy with a mind (and opinions) of his own.

A little boy who loves to tell us " I yuv you" a zillion times a day...balanced with "I don't yike you" a half dozen times a day. 

A little boy who prefers peanuts and strawberries for breakfast for the last two weeks straight. 

He often talks of "Tyna" (China) and refers to places we'd go, or things we did regularly. He's asked if we are going back to our home in China and when asked where he likes living more, America or China, he answers "Tyna". He will come around..if his smiles and laughter are any indication, he is doing quite fine back in America.  


We haven't done his three year old check yet, so I have no clue what he weighs or how tall he is. In my opinion, he's still a small fry. No extra fat to spare. He's wearing 3T clothes now, but loves to run around in nothing but his skivvies. 

Sal enjoys anything and everything with wheels, and this past weekend, he informed me while waiting at a stop light that when he's big he's going to have a pickup truck or a deep (jeep) with two motorcycles in da back. He then added that it would be a white deep..but changed his mind to orange, and then red like our neighbors. I love listening to his big plans.


He's been going to a "teacher and me" class which we refer to as school, once a week and is about to start two days a week this month. He's started playing with kids instead of just beside kids, although sharing is still a social skill in need of work. EVERYTHING is HIS. He's got a little (girl) friend at school that he plays trucks with and today he informed me that she wouldn't hold his hand and it made him sad.  

Is it bad that it gave me a laugh and broke my heart at the same time?

There's a crazy side to our three year old (he's made up a word, "bo-Banga!" which is code for, "I'm about to go apeshit crazy") and he definitely tests my patience on an hourly basis, but those moments when he crawls up on the sofa with his blue blanket and snuggles in next to me are worth their weight in gold.