Family goals

Family goals

Our family goals are pretty simple this year: no broken head/face bones in 2019, please.

broken nose, 2017
broken skull, 2018
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Monster birthday

Monster birthday

We kept Luka’s first birthday pretty low key.  I’ve always said that the first birthday is more for the family to celebrate making it through a year than anything else, so we decided to have a small family party for Luka.  We invited the closest people we have to family here in Lebanon for a little monster party to celebrate our little man.

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The theme was so easy and so cute that I might actually use it again next year.  The girls and I had a great time making the decorations and turning a simple dinner into monster food.

Luka is a pretty chill, laid back baby, so I was really surprised at how excited he was about his party.  Obviously he has no idea what it meant that it was his birthday, but he knew something special and fun was going on.

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We made a little ball pit, had a monster craft, but mostly hung out.  It was fun and laid back, just like our little man!

I tried a fondant cake for the first time and it turned out really cute! I hate the flavor of fondant, so I put plenty of buttercream underneath so that the cake would still taste good, haha!  Confession, it wasn’t my 1 year old’s first time having cake, so he knew exactly what to do with it.  Baby number 3, what can I say?

I cant believe he is one!  Happy birthday Luka-bazooka!

Seriously?!? photos of the week

Seriously?!? photos of the week

I know that in many parts of the world, they are considered a delicacy…. but I’m pretty sure these guys were collected off the street after the first big rain.

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I actually saw a lady buying some!  After a brief google search, I learned that you can actually eat any snails as long as you aren’t concerned about them having eaten something toxic.  Toxic, like…. garbage?  Not that we have any of that around here.

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I sure hope this guy doesn’t have an important meeting first thing in the morning… cuz I’m pretty sure he’s not gonna make it to work in time!

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Thankfully it’s not trash blocking the way into my car… but, seriously!?!  I may or may not have climbed in through the trunk to get to my seat.

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It’s November.  Which means this little man is turning one this month.  How is that even possible!?  I’m pretty sure he was just born like 5 minutes ago!!  I’m in complete denial.  But c’mon, how absolutely precious is he?!

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Luka by the month – 11 months

Luka by the month – 11 months

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It’s amazing how babies grow and develop overnight.  Luka started taking hesitant steps a month ago, and now he’s a super confident walker.  He can squat down to get something off the floor and stand back up.  He can step over and around toys on the floor, climb stairs and he even thinks he can jump, which is pretty much the most adorable thing ever.  He loves to push buttons in the elevator, the microwave and I’m pretty sure he’s been turning the wash off mid-cycle.

He likes to play on the slides at the girls’ school, empty my fruit cart of lemons and potatoes, and brush his teeth.  He waves bye-bye and gives slobbery kisses, especially to his sisters.  When he wants a nap, he starts patting the side of his head and blowing kisses.  He’s finally sleeping through the night more often than not, although when he does, he’s up and at’em around 5am.  He shouts mamamama! but not necessarily directed at me.  Most of his “talking” consists of grunting and spitting.

Luka loves to eat.  His favorite food is still fruit, although he can pack away a quarter pounder like a boss.  He has also been known to steal juice from refugees.  This child has no shame.  Thankfully he’s cute.  Really, really cute.DSC_5524

Luka by the month – 7 months

Luka by the month – 7 months

It’s a bit embarrassing that pretty much all I blog about these days are my children and food.  But let’s be honest.  With three small kids and a jam packed schedule at work, if my kids are fed and still alive by the end of the day, I count it all success.  Laundry may pile high, dishes might still be in the sink, and the blog is rarely updated.  But my kids feel happy and loved.

And what’s not to love about a seven month old??

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I just love the phase that Luka is in.  Granted, I do wish he would stop spitting up, and the waking up every two hours at night because, well, who knows why, is really getting old.  But besides that, this age is so fun.  Luka loves to laugh, and even funnier, he’s figured out how to make his sisters crack up, so it’s a regular giggle factory around here.  He spits and blows bubbles and basically baptizes anyone he can get his mouth near.  He sits like a pro now and just started crawling yesterday. He loves to play on the floor and is quite content for quite a while to sit and play with his toys.  He loves to jump, whether in his door jumper or on my lap.  He’s a wild man in the bath – I can’t wait for his first beach trip this week!!

I can see two little teeth just under his gums, but so far they haven’t poked through.  Any toy, cord, body part or piece of paper he can get his hands on goes straight into his mouth, but if I put a piece of food on his tray, he pokes at it, purses his lips and refuses to even entertain the idea of actually eating anything.  At 18 pounds (Ruby’s weight at one year!!), he’s clearly doing just fine, but it would be nice if he’d actually eat the banana instead of just squashing it between his fingers and smearing it in his hair.

He’s such a happy baby, although he’s started to have a bit of separation anxiety.  He’s definitely a mama’s boy right now which is both sweet and exhausting.  He’s sleeping great during the day… taking long naps in his bed if we are home or in the wrap if we are out.  Nights are another story.  We’re going to try moving him out of our room soon to see if that will help him not wake up as often for my company.  We’ll see, haha.

I might really miss waking up to this view:
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Luka by the month – 6 months

Luka by the month – 6 months

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Part of me kind of expected to wake up on Luka’s six month bday and be done with spit up forever.  That has not been the case.

But spit up and all, Luka is a joy.  He loves playing peek-a-boo, chasing his sisters and jumping in that swingy thing that hangs from the doorway.  No toy is safe if it’s in Luka’s sight – he’s figured out how to roll all over the room.  He’s sitting up, though a bit wobbly still.  He’s bouncy wiggly and always on wants to be on the move. He’s grabbed and tried to eat birthday cake, an ice cream cone, a taco and a tuna sandwich, but when we actually try to put food in front of him, he could care less about it.  He’s still a milk monster, though.

Luka’s a happy smiley baby… offering his drooly, toothless grin to anyone who will make eye contact with him.  He’s obsessed with the colorful light in our salon and Ruby’s birthday banner which is still hanging up.  Sleeping during the day is still hit or miss, although I can always get him to nap in the wrap, but he’s finally finally finally back to sleeping through the night, although it still takes a two hour nursing marathon to get him down for the night.

Can’t believe it’s been six months since Luka joined the family.  We love him so!

Follow me, Mama

Follow me, Mama

As I start this post Luka is sleeping in his bed.  I say start because I have no illusions that I’ll actually finish it in one sitting, but it’s significant that he’s in his bed.  Significant because he hasn’t slept in his bed in nearly a week.  His daytime naps he’s been wrapped close to my chest, my movements calming him and our hearts beating in sync.  At night, he’s been snuggled in the crook of my arm, easy access to his milk and secure with his little body touching mine.  But on a whim, I tried laying him down in his bed when he fell asleep this morning.  And 45 minutes later, he is still there.

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As I was nursing him to sleep, I realized that I couldn’t actually remember the last time Ruby nursed.  It wasn’t yesterday.  Was it the day before?  Or was that the night she surprised me and went to sleep with just a cuddle from Daddy?  And as much as I am ready for her to be completely weaned, I started feeling sad.  Three years and it’s just over? (Although I’m not sure that she’s actually done, she is certainly getting close.)

That’s both the beauty and the sadness of following your child’s lead.  There is no big party when they decide to sleep in their bed or when they decide it’s time to wean.  You don’t know when the last time they fall asleep on your chest will be.  It just happens.  But you know when it does happen that they are ready.  My babies don’t sleep through the night because they were left crying in a bed and learned that no one comes so they might as well give up and sleep.  My babies sleep through the night because they are developmentally ready.  They are secure, they are bonded, because they’ve learned early that every need they have will be met, whether it’s a need to nurse or to sleep in someone’s arms.

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When Isla was almost two, I went to nurse her one night and she told me no, she wanted milk in a cup.  I offered the next few days, but she always chose the cup.  And that was that.  Ruby’s weaning process has been much more gradual.  We’re down to once a day, but last week she took a bite of ice cream instead, and since then it’s been only every other day or two that she’s asked to nurse.

It’s like a baby learning to walk.  First they pull up, maybe start cruising around the furniture.  Then a step or two.  Maybe they fall down.  It’s scary so they are back to being carried in mama’s arms for a few days until they are ready to try again.  Then one step turns into three and four and soon they are running across the room.

It’s been an hour and nine minutes and Luka is still asleep.  In his bed.  But I’m not about to ring a bell and shout it from the rooftops.  Because this afternoon he will probably need to be held to sleep.  And tonight he may not sleep anywhere except my bed.  But his little wings are starting to spread.  And some day, just like his sisters did, he’ll hear a story, sing a song, get kisses and hugs and sleep all night long in his own bed.  Maybe it will be soon, maybe not for another year.  But one day he won’t need me in the same way, so I’m gonna treasure it as long as I can.  Even when it means my back is aching from the awkward sleeping position or he’s been nursing for 90 minutes straight and I feel like he’s sucking the life out of me.

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Because someday I will miss this.