Category Archives: on the outside

Mr. Sun Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

Halloween is my favorite holiday (and my birthday) though that isn’t really why it’s my favorite, just part of why.

Nature Boy is obsessed with suns. He thinks anything with a circle is a sun. Sometimes he gets less and less discriminatory about what is included in the sun category. The other day he pointed to a blank page in a book and said and did the sign for sun. Ummm nope sorry kid, that one isn’t even close.

He is also, but not quite equally, mesmerized by stars and the moon. We, or maybe I, decided that he would be a sun for Halloween and J and I would be stars and the moon.

As I worked on his costume he got sooooo excited! He ran around the house screaming “SUN, SUN!” pointing to his costume and dragging us over to see it. Then as we finished our costumes he ran around saying and signing moon and star. This kid I tell ya, he isn’t called Nature Boy for no reason. He loves all things that have to do with nature and outside.

I was worried, but hopeful that he would tolerate his costume. He didn’t like it much at first, but once we moved the rays of the sun a bit, he was fine with it. He was in love with his glowing star wand and carried it all night surprisingly.

But you guys, my kid HATED trick or treating.I should have known. He is taking after me (the kid who was often mistaken as mute). He is terrified of people he doesn’t know well. He doesn’t like meeting new people or when his little friends try to hug him and touch him. He is definitely appearing to be an introvert, which is cool of course. Introverts are awesome.!images

The first house he was a little apprehensive about, but we carried him up there. He was confused and we moved on. The next house didn’t have anyone home so he played with their decor, took some candy and we moved along. Then third house he lost it. He went up to the door, we rang the bell and when the guy started coming to open the door he literally jumped off their porch. So….we just walked around and looked at decorations and jack-o-lanterns.

And some photos of the greatest holiday ever:


Showing of his fancy halloween diaper (it glows in the dark!)


Trying to get a good picture of the costume was hard!


So was getting a good family picture, toddlers do not cooperate with picture taking


One of the most awesome discoveries of the night, a fire hydrant!


Practicing his wand skills


Admiring the cool decorations


Walking at night is soooo funny!


Happy boy

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The Worry Machine

One of the most difficult adjustments for me as a parent has been the constant worrying.

I am, by nature, not a person that worries. I don’t worry about bad things happening to me. I’m overly trusting and optimistic. I don’t worry about being robbed or anything like that. I don’t worry that someone will get sick or that something bad will happen to someone I love. But my goodness, ever since Nature Boy was born, I constantly worry about him. Sometimes they are rational worries and sometimes they are extremely irrational.

Right after he was born I had the most vivid and awful “day dreams” or visions about just terrible things happening to him. Most of the time whatever happened was my fault. Thanks a lot postpartum hormones. That doesn’t happen as much now. Now, I worry that he’ll have autism (the rates here are the 2nd highest in the U.S.). I worry that he won’t be healthy-physically or mentally. And then I feel bad for thinking those things. I worry that he won’t be happy. I worry that one day he won’t be able to stand us (his parents). I worry that he’ll resent us working instead of staying home with him. It’s so hard to shut it off.

We often call Nature Boy our backwards baby. He has done a lot of things backwards.

He walked before he crawled, his first word was “twinkle” not “mama” or “no”, the majority of the signs he uses have everything to do with nature and nothing to do with communicating his needs, he likes french onion soup and hates strawberries, he rolled once and never again for months, and he ran before he could get to standing position by himself.

Thankfully, our pediatrician is amazing. Every time we have a concern, she assures us that whatever it is, is a variation of “normal”. At his 6 month visit he wasn’t even trying to crawl and “tummy-time” lasted 5 seconds or less until the screaming started and she told us not to worry. At his 9 month visit when he still refused to be on his tummy, was showing no signs of crawling or pulling up, but was almost walking, she again said not to worry and said he’d be in the 6% of kids who go straight to walking. At his 12 month visit when he was walking, but still couldn’t stand up on his own, she was perplexed and said she’d read up on some stuff, but again said not to worry. At his 15 month visit when he was running, but still couldn’t get up from sitting, we were really starting to worry. Again she said to keep working with him and that although extremely odd, he didn’t show any other signs of something serious going on.

Well, on Sunday at 15 1/2 months old, Nature Boy finally stood up from a seated position. We shouted “Hip, Hip, Hurray!” as he alternated between thrusting his arms into the air in celebration and clapping. There was hugging and kissing and pride-so much pride-from Nature Boy of course. We are proud of him too, but he is sooo much more proud of himself which is so cute to see.

And then I breathed a sigh of relief and marked one thing of my worry list.

And a few pictures of our recent shenanigans.

Classic Nature Boy face

Classic Nature Boy face


So happy to be on a tractor

Oh and I think we’re 1 or 2 DPO. J seems like she’s not going to be a test-a-holic like me so this could be a looong wait.

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A new chapter

Today is the second day I haven’t pumped at work in well over a year. I have a lot of feelings about this. Some good, some not so good. I think overall it’s a signifier that my baby isn’t a baby anymore. He is growing up…much too quickly.

When our new nanny started a couple of weeks ago, M (I need to think of a blog name for him) would not take a bottle from her. He was down to just 3-4 oz before each of his naps before the nanny switch. We had her try a regular cup with lunch and  a straw cup and he just does not want milk unless it comes straight from the tap.

So, I gave it a few days to see if it was just a fluke. He wouldn’t take milk from J either when she stayed home with him. No reason to keep pumping then. First, I cut down to one pumping session a day. Then next week I did that one session later in the day.

Yesterday was my first day not pumping at all. I was super engorged when I got home and M wanted to nurse, but not for long. Poor kid has a cold, which makes nursing hard. I finally had to pump because it was getting painful. Boo, I hope today goes a little better.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think he will wean anytime soon. He still nurses all night long most nights and frequently during the day when I am home. He has a new habit which involves him sticking his hands in my shirt ALL the time. Seriously kid, they are attached, you don’t have to keep checking to make sure. Nursing a toddler is definitely different than a newborn, both with things to love and despise. One of his favorite places to nurse is in the bath. He gets so excited for bath time and tries to rip of his clothes and diaper and climb into the tub as fast as he can. And then he dive bombs for the milk.*

I remember when I thought it was weird to nurse a toddler, but now I can’t imagine anything different. I don’t ever want ever force him to wean. Right now I imagine he’ll self-wean between 2-3ish. The other day I was walking with J’s mom and mentioned that I could help breastfeed #2 if M is still nursing when we have #2. Her response was “I sure hope you aren’t” and told me a story about a kid who would come ask to nurse and was around 3 and how inappropriate it was. Sigh. I didn’t say anything, but I am really not looking forward to the judgements of nursing a toddler. I have a friend who has made similar comments. I wish someone could explain to me why other people get so emotional about how long another woman decides to breastfeed.

So here we are entering a new chapter. We now have a toddler who eats 3 meals and multiple snacks a day and doesn’t drink bottles of milk. He loves to drink water, wants to run faster than his toddler coordination will let him, is the sweetest thing ever, and as hard as it is to say goodbye to the pump (who would have thought) I am going to embrace my new freedom in wardrobe and time, and find something fun to do with him in those extra 10 minutes I have been spending won’t be spending every day getting pumping supplies and bottles of milk ready.

*We co-bathe, always have. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to give him a bath while not in the tub with him.

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Taking off on a jet plane

We went on our first real family vacation last month. We also went camping the month before, but I don’t really consider camping a vacation. We went to Portland to visit my sister. She moved the the PNW 6ish years ago and we had never made the trip up to visit, so it was much overdue. I was nervous to fly with a 13 month old, but he did A to the MAZING! On the flight there we has so intrigued by EVERYTHING on the plane. The air, the lights, the windows, the trays, he was entertained. It helped that it was a short flight. 11802752_10100390795903961_4979825274470897933_o

My phone got stolen the first night we were there, boo Portland! Other than that our trip was awesome. M rolled with it and did so great. He got short naps and went to bed late and was still a happy camper until the last day, when he got a little grumpy and tired.

We went to Oceanside and M got to see the ocean for the first time. He was pretty excited


He loved playing in (and eating) the sand. OMG the kid ate soooo much sand. Toddlers are nothing but strange creatures. 🙂 The water was a little chilly, but he loved playing in the bit of water farther out, it was nice and warm and not deep. We  stayed in Tillamook and ate an an awful restaurant. Then we went on a lovely forest walk and went to Cannon Beach, which was lovely.

We finally got a taste of the Portland weather and hung out at the museum while it rained all day. This group of introverts was worn out after that. We went on another forest walk later. Then, on our last day there we went to the Gorge and saw lots of waterfalls, which was awesome. I was glad when M finally woke up and got to see ponytail falls, because he thought it was pretty neat.

Can’t wait for our next vacation over Labor Day!

And some pictures of the toddler’s first vacation adventure:





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Carrying a nursing/sleeping toddler across the beach is tough. We almost got caught when the tide came in, yikes!

Cannon Beach




We had to make the obligatory stop for doughnuts


This happened A LOT during the trip


This place was the coolest, I wish we had restaurants like this here



Hike that I don’t remember the name of. We basically went to the top of a mountain that overlooked the ocean


He LOVES trees


He did this a lot, looking up at the tall trees and signing “tree” over and over again.


Being silly. M isn’t amused


Hotels are fun places to drive trucks all over apparently


M loves pizza


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It’s started…

I have now called my child my dog’s name, and my dog my child’s name on multiple occasions.

But look how cute they are! He only wanted to fall asleep cuddling his puppy. One of the few times he hasn’t fallen asleep nursing.


Lesson learned: whenever we have another baby, it will have to have a very different name so as not attempt not to call our kids the wrong name. Not that our son and our dog have similar names though, so this might not help. And don’t worry I didn’t leave him sleeping like that all night. He woke up about 5 minutes after I took the bottom picture and I put him back to sleep in his crib.


Beep, beep, beep…we have a toddler


Our baby is 1! And thus a toddler, or so I hear.

Sometimes I look at him, remember his tiny little sleepy body, and think wow he is huge! When did he get so huge?!?! Yesterday, every time I looked at him I thought he looked tiny. Maybe he is losing weight. 😉 He still has giant cheeks, that sometimes look like puppy jowls. Otherwise, he is getting slimmer and slimmer all the time. We have to snap his diapers tighter than we did a couple months ago. When we went on vacation and used disposable diapers, I thought his pants were going to fall right off his nonexistent bum.

He is always on the go, only stopping to snuggle or read books. He says news words more and more often. The most recent are tongue and owl. I call him my backwards baby. He didn’t crawl and still has trouble sitting and standing on his own, but he runs all over the place once he’s up. He doesn’t say mama, or milk, or no; instead his first words were twinkle, moon, and sun. The same with signs; he does sun, tree, diaper and more, but doesn’t do milk, eat or all done (ones we have used the most frequently). I love seeing him grow and change, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.

His birthday party was great! Everyone had so much fun and he got sooooo many presents (naively unexpected). It was overwhelming. There sure are a lot of people who love this little guy. We did a Little Blue Truck theme, which ended up mostly just being farm animals. We threw in some suns and stars because he is OBSESSED! The bakery messed up on the cake 😦 but oh well, next year I’ll make the cake myself.

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Custom Little Blue Truck diaper cover




A present bomb exploded!


Farmer baby


Not sure about the cake


Giving it a go


He loved his new little blue truck and riding around with his cousins


Doh, I forgot to put my water in the cooler!


Here, you eat the cake


Pushing around his new pirate ship



We gave him his water table present on his birthday, the night before the party. Then ate vegan cupcakes, which were a much bigger hit than the cake at the party.

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Mother of the Year Moment

I’ve certainly had my “I feel like a terrible mother” moments over the last 12 month, but I had my first noteworthy MOTY moment this weekend.

We were out in our front yard and I was watering plants while J and M were playing. I felt something crawling on my arm and figured it was just some bug, maybe a ladybug, and kept watering. A few seconds later I look down to swat it away and see that it’s a wasp. AHHHH! I hate wasps, they terrify me. Like sprint at cheetah speed in the other direction kind of fear. It’s totally irrational. I experienced my first sting a few years ago, in the neck. I yelled an expletive and that was that. It is much worse in my head than in real life. 

So back to the story….I freak out and tell J in a terrified, but trying to stay calm voice, that there is a wasp on my arm. She says to spray it with the hose I’m holding. I take a few more seconds to get up the courage and then spray the little bugger.

It Doesn’t move.

Now the panic is starting to set in because I’ve surely pissed it off by spraying it. I start flailing my arms around while spraying the hose all over the place.

It disappears. Phew!!!

I carry on with my watering and playing with the fam.

A few minutes later M is walking along the cement path in front of our steps and starts screaming. He stepped on the wasp and it stung him.

I felt so awful. Here I am a grown person that can handle a wasp freaked out and drowned a wasp onto the ground and my sweet little baby stepped on it.

J hurried and put some baking soda on it and he made sure he didn’t have a bad reaction. He was walking on his foot again 10 minutes later, but I still felt awful.

Note to self, put shoes on the baby when you go outside.

And to make it even better. Our poor Xena got stung last night. You might remember this happened a while ago. This time it was much worse. I thought her eyes were going to swell shut. We were so worried that her airway was going to close so J rushed her to the emergency vet at 9:00 last night (when she got stung). This is her after she came back from the vet. She was looking better when we left for work this morning. Hopefully she is feeling better tonight, she was just miserable and pathetic all night.

Team Wasps: 3

Team Humans: 0

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DSC_0296And how cute is this guy? He started smiling for the camera recently.

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11 Months

Well our little guy just turned 1 on Friday, what?? We officially have a boddler (he still my baby, even if he is turning into a toddler 😉 )

DSC_0765Since he’s already 1 and this post is clearly a month late, I’ll just leave this photo here and do a birthday post promptly.

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Nearly a Year

Well, I’m officially a terrible blogger. Other than missing reading updates from folks that I follow, one of the only reasons I come back at least monthly is to make sure that I’m documenting Thijs’ life in some way. I have a journal I write in for him, but I’m a month behind there as well. I keep telling myself that I’ll blog more often, and it never happens, just like the mural in his room isn’t finished. Babies are time consuming. So, even though he is 11 months old as of Tuesday, I’m still going to do his 10 month update here.

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He’s still about the same size as he was at 9 months, a teeny bit taller and a teeny bit heavier. Growth has definitely slowed wayyyy down though.

  • He continues to be a little nature boy and love, love, loves animals, all of them. There is a local farm we go to often and he loves seeing and petting all the animals, especially goats, pigs, sheeps and birds. He also goes to the aviary at least once a week and loves just watching the birds. One day he wanted to get really close to the birds (you can walk around in their “home”) and he reached out and it bit him. I thought he would start crying, nope he thought it was hilarious and kept trying to get the bird to bite him again.
Trying to get a closer look at the peacock with it's feathers out

Trying to get a closer look at the peacock with it’s feathers out



  • Solids have pretty much been a no go. We are doing baby-led weaning and baby is saying I don’t really like solids, I want to breastfeed for my entire life thankyouverymuch! What he does love to do is feed all of his food to the puppies. We try to stop it, but he is a sneaky little guy. One second he is pretending to eat and then bam his hand moves like a flash down to the side of his chair and into a puppy mouth. He loves it and thinks it’s hilarious. Sometimes we give him little snacks while he wheels around in his walker, yep those go straight to puppy mouths as well. I repeat often, food before 1 is just for fun…food before 1 is just for fun…
  • More and more of his personality comes out the older he gets and he is a little goofball. He loves to make us laugh and loves when we make him laugh. He’s such a happy kid, which makes me happy because honestly those first 4 months had me worried that I messed him up by being so sad while I was pregnant. He likes to make noises to scare and startle us and then laughs and laughs. He LOVES to be tickled, it’s his favorite thing, especially after he wakes up or finishes nursing.


  • The sleep regression is real y’all. He has never been a “good” sleeper, but 9-11 months has been hell. He won’t go to sleep, he won’t stay asleep. There have been a few times I’ve had to hold him down while he nurses so that he will settle and relax and fall asleep. Otherwise, he will nurse for a few seconds, sit up and roll around and play, nurse again, sit up again. All while yawning nonstop. Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to get up and party. It’s been a tired month. He also suddenly hates diaper changes again. And now he can move which makes things interesting.
  • He continues to love books, which is awesome and so much fun. His patience is a little lower at times, but he still can sit and read for 20-30 minutes. His favorite books was hard again, but Little Owl’s Night has been a big hit. We read it almost every night at bedtime. His favorite part is the end when the sun comes up and the owl goes to sleep. He even made rooster noises one night while we read it.
  • He mastered drinking out of a regular cup and a straw cup this month. Woo hoo! He loves drinking water. He wants to drink out of the same type of cup we are using, so he gets mugs and glass bottle here and there. He is also got soooo close to walking unassisted. He’s not crawling and his pediatrician pretty much confirmed that he won’t, that he’ll just go straight to walking. He took 2-3 steps on his own quite a few times this month, but isn’t quite “walking” yet. DSC_0664

A few more photos of month 10:

Meeting the giant Easter Bunny

Meeting the giant Easter Bunny

Pigs! Pay attention to me!

Pigs! Pay attention to me!

Easter is awesome!

Easter is awesome!


Laughing on the swings

Laughing on the swings

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Our little sunshine is three-quarters of a year old. He’ll actually be 10 months old on Sunday, but he keeps me busy.


He growing seems to have slowed down a bit. He’s a healthy little guy. He actually weighed less and was shorter at his 9 month check up last week than he was the month before. Strange… I’m going to blame it on user error.

  • We have a little dreamer on our hands. I wish he could tell us what he daydreams about. One minute he is with us chatting up a storm and then the next minute he is off in his own little world. Then, he comes back to us like whoa I was just somewhere else really cool!. My guess is milk, exploring, puppies, and books. Those seems to be his favorite things.
  • We broke down and got him a walker. He LOVES it. It took him less than 24 hours to figure out how to get around it. We rolled up the rugs and moved the tables to the sides of the rooms and he zooms around as fast as he can. He spins in circles, goes forwards and backwards. He tries to get into all the cupboards and then gets frustrated that it doesn’t work (because the frame of the walker blocks the door). His favorite things to do are: chase the puppies, drag the garbage can around, and try to grab the fire extinguisher. He likes to run and then lift up his legs and glide or stomp them down to screech to a halt. It cracks me up. I don’t know how to post videos on here, but if I ever figure it out I’ll post one. He likes to run really fast and then lift up his feet and glide and/or put them down and come to an abrupt halt. It’s really funny when he runs because he leans forward with one arm up in a “charge!” position.
And sometimes he just likes to read by himself in his walker

And sometimes he just likes to read by himself in his walker

About to run away

About to run away

"helping" me cook

“helping” me cook

  • His personality is showing more and more each day and he’s a funny little character. He likes to laugh and likes when we do silly things to make him laugh. Things that usually make him laugh are: peek-a-boo, being tickled, being surprised, being thrown or dropped in the air, and silly and different voices and faces. When he is waiting for us to do whatever it is we are doing to make him laugh again he looks away, but looks at us out of the corner of his eye, with a little grin on his face. Then, he erupts in laughter. It’s adorable.


Laughing about something silly

Laughing about something silly

  • He is not a big fan of crowds, lots of people and over stimulating environments in general. I wonder if he is an introvert or not. He’s very social, but I can tell he gets very overwhelmed if we are away from home for too long. J’s sister got married recently and that was WAY too many people coming and excitedly saying hi to him and wanting to hold him. He’s a little home body and really loves just hanging out with his little family most of the time (and being outdoors of course).
  • He still really loves books. It’s harder and harder to pick his favorite book of the month because he loves almost all of them. Though, he makes it quite clear when he doesn’t want to read a particular book. He has recently started liking the soft books more because he can look at them all by himself. His favorite is Where is the Bone. He likes to chew on the bone and thinks it’s hilarious when the dog barks and tries to lick him. The fish page is his favorite.
  • He started clapping and was so proud of himself when he first figured out how to do it. He does it all the time, especially when he is really happy or wants something that he can’t reach. He started sharing his things with J, not me so much though, which I find funny. He first offered her a  pacifier he was chewing on and later his food. I tried to get him to share his food with me, but he just laughed. Then fed it to the dog… And..he’s really close to walking. He can stand up unassisted for a few seconds if he really concentrates.

And of course a few more pictures of his 9th month.

Such a cheeser

Such a cheeser

New play area

New play area

Fist attempt at painting...he wasn't sure what to think of it. Good thing we got edible paint

Fist attempt at painting…he wasn’t sure what to think of it. Good thing we got edible paint

So silly

So messy


Auntie’s wedding. He loved the flower girl’s bouquet.

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