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Sunshine – a 9 month old’s request

March 3, 2017

img_6051It has been a very soggy, snowy winter here. We are definitely ready for some sunshine. The boys are doing really well.

Brandon – He is still playing ultimate most weekends with some snowshoeing thrown into the mix. He has a weekly game night with the guys and is back to swimming and running as well. Sleep is amazing! He is planning a Jonen/Daddy Friday for some quality time. He gets Wednesdays with Samuel, so thought he would show Jonen some daddy love as well.

Jonen – He is a big brother extraordinaire. He is learning new words constantly, tremendous, ferocious,  and enormous are the latest. We started reading him the original Winnie the Pooh chapter book thinking he might be a bit young, but he LOVES it. He just laughs and laughs and sings the Tigger and Pooh songs. He even picked the book over his daily tv show once! His imagination is going full force and that is really fun to see what he likes to explore (mostly space, baseball, and airplanes). It is Hinnamatsuri (Girls Day), so Jonen is excited for the special food they get to eat at school. What else? We got him and Samuel passports, so we can go on some adventures in the future.

Samuel – He is such a blessing to the world. This child is so excited when one of us walk in the room. He starts waving his arms for me or Bran to pick him up. His new move is to pat me on the back each time I pick him up. He will crawl backwards if you put him on all fours. He will stand if you put him next to the couch. He doesn’t really care to do it on his own though. He is most content sitting next to a bin of toys and pulling each toy out and shoving it into his mouth. He now has 6 teeth! His favorite foods are roasted eggplant, avocados, cucumber, tomatoes and mango. He also loves a piece of bread. He is in the 50% percentile for height (29 inches) and weight (19 pounds 8 ounces). He is liking books more and more.

I am really enjoying my part time jobs. At one, I got to hear about the lives of students from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Indonesia. At the other, I organized a panel of doctors and city officials talk about what they are doing to help the opioid crisis. I feel like I’m doing good things for the world again. I’m really looking forward to some time with my kiddos and girlfriends this weekend.

Some pics:

A Wonderful Mess – 8 Months

January 24, 2017

I love my boys. Brandon, Jonen and Samuel are by far the best things that have ever happened to me, and I am so blessed that we are a family. Recently, I had a friend tell me that we seem perfect. I almost spit coffee out my nose. Believe me, we are FAR from perfect. Facebook, Instagram and even this blog are cherished moments that I really want to capture, but they do not fully show who we are as a family. Please realize that as you are swooning over how well some other family seems to be handling it all, they are only showing a snapshot of a much larger picture. The day to day can be challenging. Being a parent can be hard. Living far away from family can be hard. Cutting back on my workload to spend time with our kids has been a financial adjustment, and I could not imagine our life any other way. I will highlight some of our low points below, just so you can realize how amazingly human we are.

Last week, we were sick. Samuel and I definitely had the flu. Luckily, Jonen and Brandon had a milder version. I could barely function, and I’m still not 100%. Each day all I could think of was to make sure to make and clean bottles for Samuel. I had no appetite, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop coughing…it was HORRIBLE! We couldn’t leave the house for 5 days. We didn’t even have the strength to develop cabin fever. Being sick sucked and now I have some laundry to do.

Some of our funnier low points:

  • Samuel figured out how to pull my shirt out and spit up down my shirt. He did this three days in a row earlier in the week.
  • Jonen learned how to take off his own diaper when he was a year old. I put him down with JUST a diaper on one warm summer day. After his nap, I realized he had spread poop all around his crib. After that incident, I always put pants on him during nap.
  • Jonen rarely gets sick, but one time he came home from school early with a stomach bug. I had the reflexes to catch Jonen’s puke rather than have it end up all over the carpet.
  • Getting out the door in the morning by 8…ha ha. That is always funny.

Some of our fun points over the past month:

  • Samuel got to see snow for the first time. (We have so many pics!! I would have to share our google album.)
  • Jonen went skiing for the first time. (Again…lots of pics.)
  • The boys are sleeping in the same room! We put them down at the same time and we have now had at least 2 maybe even 3 full nights of sleep. (No pics needed…pure bliss. Thanks for the hedgehog, Dad! It is working!!)
  • Samuel “talks” now with using ba, ma, and la sounds. He also twirls his wrists when he wants to be picked up.
  • Jonen has made up a language that he calls “Spanish”. It sounds very much like Japanese. He says something in his language and then asks us what it means. For some reason, this is so irritating to me. Bran finds it amusing.

Basically, we’re humans with lots of love for one another. I’m loving my Jonen, Samuel and Mama days. I especially love nap time. Ha ha!!

Just a couple of pics this month:


Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2016

Samuel at 7 months

I can’t believe that Christmas is so soon! We’ve been seeing Christmas lights, building Gingerbread houses, and listening/singing Christmas songs.

Samuel – He is already 7 months! He is sitting up like a champ. He loves to hug stuffed animals and even gives me kisses. Such a cuddly little guy. He likes to “talk” and be a part of the conversation. He likes to hit books while we read to him. He was having issues eating at first. He was gagging and spitting up. Now, he is getting the hang of it. He likes food that he can grab and put in his mouth on his own. His favorites are avocado, banana, and a bit of smoked salmon. He can even manage to get a spoon in his mouth on his own as well. Pretty amazing hand/eye coordination for a 7 month old. Oh…he might have teeth soon. There are definitely bumps forming.

Jonen – He is turning into quite the little chef. We had a Mama/Jonen cooking contest last night with some garlic yogurt sauce. I have to say that his was pretty delicious. Just to let you know…his secret ingredient is ALWAYS cinnamon. He is loving the advent calendar and book. He is super excited to play the bell in his Holiday Concert tomorrow. He makes fun of me when I try to sing Jingle Bells in Japanese…apparently, my pronunciation isn’t as good as his.

We take WAY too many pictures of these cuties. Here are some pics from the last month:

6 months, Thanksgiving and Canada

November 29, 2016

Samuel is now 6 months old!! He is 16 pounds 15 ounces and 27.25 inches long. He had a couple of weeks of sickness (including the pics above). He had his first fever my first full day back at work. It was so sad. The poor kiddo was waking every hour. He is so much better now! He is sitting up pretty well, and he is now trying food. His first taste of food was red beans. He liked it. So far his favorites are butternut squash, miso soup, and mashed potatoes. He now has a birth certificate and social security card, so that means we got to go to Canada over the weekend.

Bran and I are very blessed to have friends watch the boys, so we could have a couple of dates for our birthday. We saw some jazz and ate two meals with just us. It was nice.

Thanksgiving was so much fun, Jonen asked when we get to do it again. Jonen is the perfect age to really enjoy Christmas. We got the Christmas tree last night and him and Bran were just dancing around the living room. We’re going to decorate it tonight. That kiddo is filled with joy. Samuel just keeps looking at the tree like what is that.

I’ll let the pics tell the rest of our story:



November 13, 2016

I have been debating if I should write anything here about the election, and I realized I have to. This will be my only political post, but I have to do it. Brandon and I have worked the last 9 years in environmental and social justice. These are our values. The new president has the ability to create so much divisiveness and can potentially undo a lot of really good community work that benefits all of us. If this were McCain or Romney or anyone that was remotely qualified, I would be fine with the results. I would have been sad, but they have actual experience. You might think, the election is over…get over it. If you think that, you have probably never have had to fear violence against you that the government condones. I grew up in the Midwest where racism and sexism are rampant. I had members of my class in high school walk out on lessons of World War II because they said the Holocaust never happened. I have to protect my boys from that type of ignorance, and it is now when the real work has to begin.

I am a mom. Every day I tell Jonen to be kind and gentle with his friends.Samuel has so much love for the world…he just looks into everyone’s eyes until he forces you to smile. Samuel is Latino, his birth parents are Mexican American. (Yes, they and their families are here legally.I am annoyed that I know I have to write that to provide clarity on the situation.)  We have a Latino friend who served in the military and is now asking himself how he can love a country that doesn’t love him.  I won’t stand for sexist, racist or xenophobic behavior. Unfortunately, the new leader of our country has exhibited all of that atrocious behavior. I have talked to people who are genuinely afraid that they will be deported or that if they took a trip to visit their families they wouldn’t be able to return return to America, even though they have as much legal right to be here as I do. There are actually travel warnings for Muslims to not come to the United States now due to the increase in hate crimes. It is sickening.(There are more hate crimes after this election than there were after America was attacked on 9/11.)

So what do I want to accomplish by posting this? I would love it if you could reach out to people of color in your community, to immigrants and refugees and ensure them that it will be okay. We are a county that loves more than it hates. We are a welcoming country. I have to live in a country that offers similar opportunities to both of my sons.


Christmas Wish List:

Donations to ReWa in Jonen and Samuel’s name.

Toys or books– We really don’t need much.


November 1, 2016

November 1, 2016

Happy Halloween!!

Fall is always a transitional time for us. Brandon and I both started work in Seattle in November nine years ago! We started the adoption process on October 27th, 2015. We just make major life decisions in the fall for some reason.

I went in for the brief orientation yesterday and have my first full day at work tomorrow. Eek!! We are trying out a couple of different nanny shares for Samuel. They both live in Columbia City, which is on the way to Jonen’s preschool. They are both really nice women who are also watching 2 year old kiddos. That process has taken up so much of my brain space that I haven’t even thought about my new job at all.

We’ve had a soggy fall for the most part. It has rained record amounts in Seattle this October, and we had a wet trick or treating experience last night. We had a family costume of the Cat in the Hat characters. This was Jonen’s idea when we were in Florida meeting Samuel, and it became a reality last night. Pretty fun to see our family come together. Samuel (the fish) slept through the entire time on Trick or Treat street. Jonen was a little freaked out by all the skeletons and said he had enough candy and that it was time to leave. Ha ha!!

Some pics of our recent adventures:


5 months and back to work

October 23, 2016

5 months!

Samuel – He is still a very happy baby. He looks around the room to make eye contact with people and just smiles and laughs when someone looks at him..he especially loves when Jonen is looking at him. He is a charmer! He has found his feet in the last week and just loves grabbing them. He still has little interest in rolling over. When he has tummy time, he somehow manages to scoot forward instead. He has super strong legs! He does like to roll from his back to his side. He has great hand/eye coordination and is getting good at putting everything in his mouth. Sleep….it is still rough. He gets up twice a night on average. This morning he was wide awake at 4:00 am.

Jonen – He tries to be our little comedian. If you have ever been over for dinner, you know Jonen loves to disappear to his room and put undies on his head. Apparently, he has been discussing politics at the lunch table at school. Very funny to hear reports from his teacher now about their conversations. He is definitely demanding more of our attention now and is also an early riser. He loves his little brother and holds his hand on the way to school. He is also in the habit of memorizing his books now and “reading” them to us. He loves going to the library to get a stack of books.

Beth – I’m headed back to work part time. I’m going to be the Career Center Director at City University. Eek. I’m super nervous to leave Samuel, and I’m happy I was able to stay home with him for 5 months. This time off has been a blessing for me to think about next steps in my career. I realize I really want to become a Counselor for women at various stages of their fertility journey. This job will help with that transition. We are interviewing two nannies this week to find care for Samuel.

Brandon – Bran gets to hang out with Samuel one day a week starting in November. There will be a Daddy/Sam Sam day on Wednesdays. Still playing frisbee rain or shine and just trying to keep the train moving. It is nice for me to watch him do such a great job as a father and husband.

Please come and visit us! All of our holiday traditions are off this year, so we need some company!!