Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lincoln at 15 months

Oh my goodness, this kid is so much fun these days.

1) He loves doing chores.

It started with the broom. He loved carrying the broom around. He'd have a fit if we actually took the broom to do some sweeping. Last weekend we were at Chris' parent's house, and Lincoln spent the majority of his time carrying their broom and dustpan combo from room to room. He was so mad when we got in the car to go home.

Also funny, the first thing he ever pointed out in a picture book was Cosette's broom. :D

Then it was the duster. Lincoln likes to go into the cabinet under the sink where he knows the microfiber duster lives. He dusts the floor and the bottom of bookcases for us. If we point out something specific, he'll dust that.

Third, he loves helping with the dishwasher. We can hand him small items like utensils for him to put in the basket, and I just found out that Chris has been letting him pull the utensils out when the washer is done. (Ew. Baby hands all over my spoons!) The other day I tried to quickly unload the dishwasher without him, and when he came toddling around the corner and saw what I was doing, man was he irate. He basically pushed me out of the way to take over. Silly boy.

2) He LOVES books now.

Something switched about a month and a half ago and all of the sudden he is all about his little library. Whereas before the books were just good for pulling off shelves to make a mess, now we actually read them- all the way to the end! He has favorites, too. Notably is "The Hand Book," which I think he loves for the "dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum" part. Somewhere along the way he made up his own hand motions for the part of the book where two characters meet and they "shake hands, shake hands, shake, shake, shake!" My favorite part of his newfound love for books is when I find him sitting with a book in his lap, "reading" out loud. He's starting to add inflections into his babble, so it really sounds like reading!

3) He communicates with us.

Teaching him sign language is finally paying off! He can sign please, all done, yes, and again. His most used are definitely please and again. He signs please if we ask him if he wants something and he does indeed want it, and of course as soon as food comes out. Again is used when I sing songs to him, or we count the mice in a picture book, or when daddy flies him around the room. Yes is a sign that we're very excited to see coming out a lot, because it's helped us so much in figuring out what he wants or needs at the moment. He still will not sign milk, even though it's the one sign I've used with him since he was four weeks old!

4) He loves to slide.

This just happened in the last couple of weeks. Chris took him to a playground a bit ago and came back with reports that Lincoln had a blast when daddy put him up on the slide and helped slide him down. Just a couple weeks later, we were doing a family photo shoot with the Holzes at a playground near their house, and Lincoln was climbing up the play structure and going right down the slide all on his own. Like 20 times. I took a video of it, and Chris says it gives him "the feels" for some reason. I think we both are seeing how are little baby is suddenly not so much a baby anymore!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The end of nursing

This week I nursed my baby for the very last time.


Not going to lie, I still feel a bit in denial. Like we're just taking a bit of a break, and he'll be right back at it tomorrow.

But I know he's done. And I'm both happy and so incredibly sad at the same time.

I knew it was coming. Over the last couple of weeks, Lincoln's become VERY into his books. He loves them so much now. He reads them in his bed after he wakes from a nap, he carries them to us when we're cooking or working, he "reads" out loud using our inflections. And for awhile now, he's insisted that we read a book while we nurse.

Yeah, that was difficult. Super adorable. But very hard to do properly.

So he was only half-interested in the mama milk while we were reading, too. He'd pop off to raise his head to look at the pictures or try to turn the pages. My guess is my milk supply really took a hit from that, and after a bit he wasn't getting as much as he used to.

He went from pointing to the rocking chair to indicate we should nurse, to pointing to his bookcase to tell me he wants to read. For the last few days, I would still put him in a nursing position, even though he wasn't showing interest. He'd give me a minute or so, and then it was all about the book.

Then on Tuesday, he drank for about ten seconds before lifting himself up and reaching for his book. I switched him to the other side, and that's when it hit me: This is probably the last time I will nurse this baby.

I didn't want to believe it, but just in case I soaked up every single second of it. I touched his sweet face and ran my hands through his ridiculously messy hair. I made sure that if this really was the last time, I was going to make that memory count.

The next day he wouldn't nurse at all. I tried again for two days after, but he's done.

When I told Chris, he high fived me, and I crawled back into bed with him and cried. I know it's silly; we went a full 15 months, something I thought would never happen with the complications we had in the beginning. I told myself I would nurse him as long as he wanted, but I secretly hoped he would go longer, because I wanted it to continue. I worked really hard to make nursing work for us, and when I think of all the pain, all those long nights, giving up lunch breaks and waking up in the middle of the night to pump, it just seems to incredibly sad to give it up so easily.

But we did it. We nursed to 12 months and beyond. It was hard. It was so very hard.

But man, oh man, was it worth it.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Day

So today we had this thing in America called the inauguration for the new president of the United States. My school is awesome, and carved out time during first and second modules for the students to be able to watch it. I wasn't too sure how they're reactions would be, and I was definitely ready to put out fires quickly and nip the negativity in the bud, but man oh man my kids so got it. It was such a great thing to get to watch through their eyes.

And of course they are in the 12-14 year old range, so some silliness and laughter was to be expected.

Here were my fave moments:

Student: "So where are they anyway? I mean, I know they're in Washington, but where exactly?"

Me: "I'm pretty sure it's the Capitol building."

Katie: (Gasps.) "It is! There's the Washington Monument in line with it, just like in our books!"

Me: (So proud.)

(We happened to have a picture of D.C. in our math books because we were doing a section that involved grids, so D.C. was the city of choice used to show a gridded city system. We actually had a lengthy discussion a few weeks ago about the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial being on a straight line with the Capitol.) 


Me, while the chorale was singing: "Guys, can we talk about that first guys' speech? I just love how he pointed out that the second election was so much more important than the first, since the idea of transferring power peacefully was not really something that happened during that time period. You all know, a lot of time power in a country is transferred through violence and bloodshed, so isn't it so incredible that our country is one of those where the leaders have always graciously given up power, even to those who they don't agree with? It's giving me goosebumps, I don't know, maybe it's just because I'm an adult now, so it's affecting me a lot today."

Lauren: "Or maybe you're cold!"


Announcer: "Please welcome Chuck Schumer."

Sam: "Oh, I love that guy! He's got the best glasses!"

(And sure enough, Chuck Schumer had good glasses.)


Supreme Court Justice: "Vice President Elect Pence, raise your right hand."

All my students: Raise their right hand.

Me: "Uh, you guys all know you're not being sworn in, right?"

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Goal Update

If anyone's been following my blog for a length of time, you'll know that every year I participate in the One Little Word challenge. It's easy. Step 1: Pick a word that describes how you want your year to be. Step 2: Make it happen.

Last year my word was Embrace (post here), i.e., embrace the changes. I just re-read last year's post myself, so here's a couple of my thoughts on how well I "made it happen."

Embrace Change: As far as major life changes, I didn't actually have any this year. I remember last year I was worried I would be put into a new position at my school, but fortunately for me I ended up going right back to my 8th grade math spot. So as it turns out, I didn't quite have to embrace too much change in that area.

Embrace the "Baby Year": I think I've been doing a good job at this. I'm kind of a big ol' sap already, so those nights where I just want to put Lincoln in his bed at 6:30pm on the dot and close the door behind me and not have to deal anymore, I've been able to remind myself pretty easily that these nights won't last forever. I knew last January that my six-week-old was going to turn into a toddler by the time the year was up, and I can honestly say I've (mostly) cherished the moments. I've snuggled my baby well past the time he's fallen asleep in my arms. I've snuck into his room to watch him sleep countless nights. I've kept myself from getting (too) discouraged as he's refused to sleep or has his occasional meltdowns. The baby year went by fast. They say it does, but you don't realize it until you're at the end of another year.

See? This guy's practically ready for college now, for crying out loud!

Embrace Relationships: This one. I did not do well with. At all. I'd like to blame it on time and other life issues taking priority, but I know I've had plenty of time to work on this, time that's gone to other things like reading cloth diaper forums and catching up on NCIS LA. I'm continuing to work on this in the coming year.

Embrace Fitness: So I thought I'd failed on this one, but then I really stopped to think about it, and I'm going to give myself a C+ on this one. In the spring I signed up for Stroller Strides when it was offered by my school. Over the summer I continued with the weekly Stroller Strides course at a local park and we all joined the Y. Lincoln had a blast at baby swim classes and the child watch class, while I did dance and yoga/pilates. In the fall, we did Stroller Strides again at the school. This is way more than I've done in years, but still less than I should be doing, so C+.

Embrace Food: Oh, man, this one was tough. I'm just going to go ahead and say we all failed on this one. Yes, there were definitely weeks when I took time to plan out our meals, bought groceries according to plan, and actually stuck to the plan... but there were a lot of times when I let the busyness of work take over instead.

Embrace (My) Creativity: I was fortunate enough to have quite a bit of extra time in the beginning of the year. I was on maternity leave and in a position that did not require a ton of my home time, which led to creative time in the evenings after Lincoln went down. (Well, on the nights that I didn't go down at the same time... which sadly happened quite a lot.) I also had a really great opportunity to be on a creative team for my favorite scrapbook designer, Liz Tamanaha. I even almost finished Lincoln's baby book this year, which, come on, is pretty huge.

Embrace Frugality: Ah, my last minute throw-on. I'll go ahead and give myself a B- on this one. While the couponing didn't last too long (hello, that stuff takes a lot of time), using the Ibotta app to reverse coupon has been great. I've also been paying attention to the coupons that come out with receipts at the grocery stores these days. I almost always get Plum coupons and coupons for our favorite bread. Still working on convincing Chris to buy only what we plan to use in the following week (his method is to just buy all the things so there's always something at home to eat), but I think we've taken great strides in using up what we buy. We used to throw out so much that had gone bad before we used it, it was awful.

So that was my year. Not the best as far as goals go, but not at all the worst! T-Minus two days for the new year to start, and I'm excited to get going with my new word and ideas for the year.

As you can see, this little guy's also excited for the year to come. Another year of fun, learning, and growing- this time toddler style!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


We'll, we're on our way back home from another fabulous Christmas in Yucaipa. It was cold enough there that it actually FELT like Christmas. It even almost snowed! 

As usual, we did not get a Christmas photo of our little family. Sigh. People think that photographers have lots of pictures of themselves; really, we have lots of pictures of our babies, some pictures of our husbands while they're with our babies, and occasionally a picture of ourselves. (But that only happens if we want to spend time setting up the timer function or convince our husbands to leave their desks to take a picture. Ain't nobody got time for that.)

But I digress.


Notable events this year:

Chris' dad is recovering from knee surgery he had literally a week ago. Lincoln helped by snuggling and reading books on Grandpa's lap.

Lincoln discovered the magical pantry at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It's full of Lincoln sized items like sprinkles containers and parsley jars. Perfect for a little boy to rearrange and move to nearby benches.

Lincoln also discovered that Gracie is now bigger than him and even more rambunctious than him. He kept a cautious eye on Gracie the whole time.

Lincoln discovered the big toy that makes music, aka, the piano.

He now LOVES the piano.

We of course opened gifts. Lincoln's much better at it than he was at his birthday, especially with the gift bags. But his favorite things to play with Christmas day were not his many new toys, but a box of cotton balls and Grandpa's pick-up stick.

Favorite gifts all around include a new flask (Chris, from "Lincoln"), Lularoe leggings (Jordan, from Sarah), and a few Duplo Lego sets (Lincoln, from Justin and grandparents).

Oh, and of course, this Rudolph from Sarah, the first gift Lincoln opened.

Lincoln got his first lollipop on Christmas day, which he seriously loved. No, really, he loved it very seriously. You wouldn't think he was enjoying it, until the tantrum he threw when I took the last little bit away from him.

AND for another first at Grandma and Grandpa's house (well, kind of), Lincoln executed his first bowl-to-mouth spoon maneuver with Christmas night lasagna. The entire table clapped every time he did it, and you know that kid lives for the praise. He also likes to praise himself along with everyone else. 

So Christmas this year was mostly centered around Lincoln. As is life these days. But that's okay, because having a toddler wading through life for the first time is pretty entertaining, and honestly makes life a lot more fun. You never realize how special things are until you experience them with the fresh eyes of a one-year-old. And though he didn't really "get" Christmas this year, it sure was fun watching him walk around with Grandpa's pick-up stick and reorganize Grandma's herbs for the tenth time. Here's to next year's Christmas with a two-year-old!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

As usual, Christmas has been a long, slow day of relaxing, eating, and opening presents at Chris' parent's house. The usual suspects are here: mom and dad, Chris and me, Sarah and Justin, Grandpa Ed. This year we added a one-year-old and a puppy to the mix, which made for a bit more of an interesting time. For the first year, we had ornaments being pulled off the tree, toys being eaten, popcorn being spilled, tantrums being thrown, naps and walks needing to fall into the festivities somewhere, etc. It's been an exhausting and beautiful day, summed up by the picture below.  

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, November 4, 2016


Oh, my goodness, we are at November already.

So much for my commitment to blog more frequently. My last post was August 24th!

So here's just a quick life update while Lincoln naps and I finish my lunch, before diving in to mapping out my Unit 3 that we'll be starting on Monday.

This week was fall break for school. Over the weekend, Lincoln spent two nights with grandma and grandpa Trementozzi while Chris and I had a double header wedding weekend. It was super weird not having him at home with us! But we definitely had a nice sleep in on Monday!

Monday was Lincoln's first Halloween, and he was Anakin Skywalker (found the outfit on Amazon). We really weren't expecting much from him when we showed up to church for trunk or treat, but that kid took to collecting candy like it was nothing new. He loved getting to pick a candy from each bucket, then drop it in his bag that daddy was holding. Eventually, he realized he wanted to keep hold of the ones he was collecting, so he was double fisting candy, dropping previous candy into new buckets and collecting more. Chris and I just tried to make sure the good stuff made it into the bag. :D  We went house to house trick or treating in a friend's neighborhood after that, and ended up at the house of one of the nurse volunteers from Grossmont's breastfeeding support class! So random!

Tuesday Lincoln and I went around looking for items for his camping themed birthday party. He pooped out on my early, though, so we came back home for his nap, and I went out on my own to finish up and get my hair cut. Got some more brown in this time and I'm loving it!

Wednesday was Disneyland day! This really deserves its own post, but the highlights are: 1) Lincoln's first ride was the Haunted Mansion, and he waved at all the characters, 2) He actually took a nap in his stroller (first time EVER), 3) He met Tigger and Rabbit and got an awesome picture with them, and 4) He was the best little baby all day! No fussiness at all, and he stayed up way past his bedtime. He's such a good little buddy to bring along anywhere.

Thursday Lincoln and I got out of the house early to give Chris some time to work. We went to the breastfeeding support class and saw our trick or treating nurse, stopped by his pediatrician to confirm his terrible cough is only from teething (poor guy's going to get a whole bunch all at once soon!), hit up Party City and found some more camping party supplies, and then came home for naps again.

And today's Friday! We just finished up a Walmart shopping trip, where we surprisingly found the BEST fabric to make table runners for his party. We had planned to get some more errands done, but Lincoln started nodding off in the carseat, so back home we came. Hoping he gives me a couple of hours to get some work done for school. :D