I often wonder if I’m doing something wrong.
I’ve loved kids for as long as I can remember. Even when I was a kid I loved kids, so having kids was always in the cards for me. When Devin and I got married, it wasn’t a matter of “if,” it was a matter of “when”. I knew we would have kids, and I would rock motherhood…
However, I’m 14 months into this whole motherhood thing, and this breast feeding, no TV watching, homemade food making mama is wandering if I’m doing something wrong. I’m sure it’s natural to second guess yourself and your choices, but I can count the number of date nights I have had with my husband on two hands and the amount of times I WASN’T the one to put Cash to bed at night since this kiddo was born on one hand. Not to mention the number of times I’ve left the house for “me” time and worried the entire time I was out of the house or checked the monitor on my iPhone to see what he was doing or not doing…
On top of that, it’s hard to have people whisper in your ear with a judgmental tone… “When my kids were babies…” Or “You give Cash apples?” Or “You’re still breastfeeding?!?” Or ” … you’re doing that, not this…?”
Everyone knows first time moms don’t get a dress rehearsal. We dive in on opening night… it’s show time! There is no time to look back, we do what we know, what we’ve researched, what our gut says and are then left wandering “Am I doing something wrong?”
After taking my first official weekend “off” as a mom, (I traveled to LA for a quick gig), I returned to an insanely happy, well rested little boy and a smiling nana and daddy… So the answer is, “No,” I’m not doing anything wrong… Sure I have no free time, my nails are unmanicured, I’m behind on all my television and I haven’t even started season two of The Americans, but guess what… Cash is HAPPY, and even more importantly, healthy (weighing in at 30 pounds and 34″)!
So to all you mamas out there, (especially those, who like me, are ‘stay at home moms’ without nannies — and whatever else has become the “norm” for raising kids these days)… Keep up the great work! Keep doing you and know that I see you and your applesauce stained shirt, unbrushed hair, sleepy eyes and beautiful full heart and smile. I applaud you and your strength, and… NO, you aren’t doing anything wrong. All babies are different, and there is no right or wrong way– there is your way!
your first born only turns one once… so we had…
A Birthday Bash for Captain Cash
Since our venue was the Oakmont Yacht Club we made sure the party was full of First Mates and seaside fun!
LOVE THIS KID!
“Ahoy”… Lets have some fun… Cash is turning ONE!
the day was sweet and there were lots of treats…
As friends and family sipped on drinks the kids played in the sand, the photo booth and a pool full of balls and boats… Cash laughed the day away!
Grateful now a days you can find a baker for any “need”… Even when you want a sugar free smash cake made of bananas and applesauce… success!
HAPPY BOY AND A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
so fun sharing this day with so many incredible families!
The Photo Booth proved to be a ton of fun! To view all the photos from the booth visit:
- click on “gallery”
- find the link to your gallery
- login using the password: CS1YO
Wow! What an incredible year it has been! I can’t believe you are already ONE! It seems like yesterday your father and I heard your heartbeat for the first time, heard your cry for the first time or held your hand for the first time… It has been a year of firsts and a year of blessings! From raising you in one of the most beautiful cities in the country to sleepless nights… I can honestly say, I’ve never been happier!
Thank you for the quiet moments where my faith thrived and the not so quiet moments where my faith was challenged.
Thank you for laughing more than crying!
Thank you for teaching your father and I how to be better communicators and team players.
Thank you for teaching us the most important thing in life is faith and family.
Thank you for being a trooper as we carted you all over the country and for making 20 plane flights less painful than anticipated.
But most of all, son, your father and I thank you for loving us. Your love has shown us just how big our hearts are, which in turn, allows us to truly understand the importance of grace, forgiveness, faith, mess, perfection, growth, happiness and generosity.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Cash!
This last month proved to be ONE OF YOUR BUSIEST! Between visitors, trips and MOVING… you are growing up so fast! In fact, for the last THREE AND HALF WEEKS YOU HAVE BEEN WALKING! We are so proud of you! Right after you turned 11 months you were determined to get to where you needed to go without any help from mom and dad! You showed off your skills for and not 1, not 2 but 3 visitors: Aunt Lyndsy, Uncle Schram and Aunt Nee-Nee!
Speaking of visitors… We took Aunt Lynds to one of your favorite places in the city so you could show off your new walking (and running) skills! Its always a good time at the Creativity Museum. (Thanks Aunt Lynds for snapping so many fun photos).
You have been busy showing off your new skills everywhere…
You walked during our family vacation along the west coast… Hello, Santa Cruz, Carmel, Big Sur and Monterey.
You walked out of the doctors office at your 12 month wellness check up where you…
weighed 28 pounds
were measured at 32+ inches
have 12 teeth
and received four shots.
… And you walked onto the plane as we officially packed our bags and moved back east!
Since we knew our time in SF was coming to an end, during the last month, we took advantage of everything CA had to offer. We decided to tour the California Coast where we got to swim, hike, camp, eat and visit some of the most famous sites and cities along Highway 1!
I think out of everything you loooooved at the Monterey Bay Aquarium the most, as you studied the fish and sharks. Your second favorite was probably the Santa Cruz Boardwalk where you were mesmerized by the sea lions.
The vacation week was filled with many other fun activities that even included camping, hiking and swimming! Your were an angel the entire time… and didn’t even mind your car seat!
We returned home from Vacation to prepare for Aunt Nee-Nee’s visit! And we decided to take advantage of her visit with Uncle Chris to say goodbye to the beautiful city of San Francisco. We took them to our favorite San Francisco spots!
In addition to walking you are talking up a storm! You point to everything and a have a conversation about everything you point to. Unfortunately, your father and I are not fluent in “Ca$h talk” but it’s safe to say your first words are officially “Dada”, “Mama” and “Ball”!
You have a new love and appreciation for your toys, especially your basketball and baseball. You love love LOVE to throw and shoot the ball! We bought you your first baseball and baby baseball bat while on vacation and you play with it ALL. THE. TIME! You and daddy have already had many a games of catch.
As I mentioned earlier… This month we have officially moved back east. You spent lots of time playing with Emory while all of our things were boxed up. We are grateful to the Williams Family for being so generous with their home and time for our last for 48 hours in San Francisco. And we are equally grateful to the Wades for their prayers, support and help! Emory and Maya will be life long buddies of yours! We are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with these families and their gorgeous baby girls!
And we wouldn’t have survived the last year if it weren’t for the Melman/Bhatia clan for setting us up in San Francisco, making sure we knew of all the fun things to do as a family and for taking such good care of your puppy brother along the way! We secretly pray that they will move back to NYC too so you and Cade can continue your bro-mance.
While we wait for our things to arrive at our new apartment in NYC, we are saying at Nana’s in Pittsburgh. During this transition you had two really rough days (as you are not only teething– AGAIN– but we were trying to acclimate you officially to east coast time). I’m happy to report three days later we are almost back on schedule.
Your last few days as an infant were spent in Pittsburgh where you were reunited with Cuz B & Cuz D as you cheered them on at your first football game! It’s always so fun to see you face when you see them. Brayden and Donovan are so good to you and never miss an opportunity to give you a high five or a hug!
You were also welcomed by Nana and PappyShanks who have generously opened their doors and their hearts to me, you, your dad, our cat and our dog (thanks mom)! You have seen Uncle Mike, Aunt Jen, Grammy, Pap and Aunt Missy… and tomorrow you will get to see everyone as we celebrate your first birthday with all our loved ones! I think I went a little overboard on your first birthday… but you only turn one once… and this year deserves to be celebrated!
This year flew by with swim lessons, doctor visits, music class, jogging with daddy, museum explorations, many trips, countless church activities, visitors, sight seeing in San Francisco and playdates.
Don’t grow up too fast.
Promise me you will always let me hug you and always let me tell you how much I love you!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CA$H MONEY!
Things I hope to teach you before you “grow up”
- Go easy on the cologne and hair gel– less is more.
- Women can smell dishonesty a mile away, so unless you’re trying to protect our feelings, never lie to us.
- Don’t be a sore loser
- Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself, but don’t be a bully.
- Showing emotion is not a sign of weakness.
- Women may want to be treated like equals, but a little chivalry goes a long way. Always open her car door!
- Don’t be a mouth breather or a close talker.
- Learn how to cook (healthy) and learn how to do your own laundry.
- Always look people in the eye when you’re talking to them and when you meet someone for the first time always shake their hand!
- Send me flowers on my birthday. And on Mother’s Day.
- A little confidence goes a long way. Even if you have to fake it.
- Always take your hat off when you enter someone’s home, and never, ever, wear a baseball cap at the dinner table.
- When it comes to love, wait for the one you can’t live without
- Remember that trust is EARNED, and once it’s broken, it’s really hard to get it back… So stay loyal and honest. However, remember God’s message is one of forgiveness… so if someone is sorry God calls us to forgive.
- Learn the definition of grace
- Everyone is your equal, regardless of their race, religion, size, shape, or sexual orientation. Treat them accordingly.
- Don’t spit. It’s disgusting.
- No drugs.
- Find a hobby you’re passionate about, and make time for it
- Don’t be afraid to tell people you love them.
- Respect and honor your mother and father.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Spend time with the people you love. You never know when they’ll be taken away from you.
- Trim your eyebrows, nose hairs, ear hairs… and so on… your dad will help you on this one!
- Learn how to say, “I’m sorry”… anyone can be angry, it takes a bigger person to apologize!
- Be kind and respectful to people.
- Don’t let fear dictate your actions.
- Never EVER kiss and tell (and furthermore don’t kiss at all until your a teenager).
- No matter how young you are, or how late it is, promise you’ll call when and your friends have been drinking, so I can get you all home safely (and alive).
- Always keep breath mints in your pocket.
- Believe in yourself.
- When you’re visiting someone in their home, never show up empty-handed.
- Learn the art of killing with kindness.
- Be on time… Don’t be late (your dad will also have to take the lead on this one… as I’m still working on it).
- Always keep your fingernails manicured.
- Don’t acquire credit card dept.
- No smoking.
- If you are questioning it, you probably shouldn’t do it… or at least call me… we will talk through it.
- Before you propose to a woman, always ask her dad’s permission first.
- Don’t swear in front of women or in a work setting!
- Take pride in your appearance and the way you dress.
- Never kiss a girl on the first date.
- When a woman says “I’m fine”, chances are she’s not.
- Be the hardest worker in the room!
- Learn how to dance or play an instrument
- Take responsibly for your actions.
- Never fart or burp at the dinner table.
- Life isn’t always fair– so don’t worry about what other people are or aren’t doing. Focus on your journey.
- Positivity is important (Nana always says “what you think about you bring about”)
- God first, others second, yourself last!
We have been so busy with traveling and preparing for another cross country move… I’ve been a little delayed with posting about your 10th month as a tiny human… better late than never!
11 months?!? How did this happen? How can you be 11 months old?
Just short of 20 flights and visiting 6 states and countless cities you are a traveling fool, and you have only been in this world for eleven months!
This month alone you traveled from California to Virginia, New York and New Jersey.
Flying with you is getting a little more difficult as you are getting so big and so mobile. It’s not fun for you to be confined for so many hours, but I have to say, you always have a smile on your face, and more importantly, you bring a smile to those around you on the flight… not an easy task.
We traveled to VA for my work and you got to spend six days with Nanna. She was dead set on teaching you how to walk by using your stroller… YOU LOVED IT! The only problem now is that you would rather push your stroller than ride in it (thanks Nanna). You had a blast in Virginia as you and Nanna had another chance to bond and spend time together! Your father and I are always so thankful to her and we are grateful for her help, insight and support!
Just as soon as we got back to the west coast, we turned around as a family to travel back east to look for an apartment (and mommy and daddy both had business in the big apple). It was a successful trip. You got to see your bestie Jessie, your God parents and Eleanor, ride in the swings in the park, play with Aunt Rachel and ride the subway! Pretty soon these things and these people will be a part of your everyday life!
As for developments?!? Well they keep happening… you have 10 teeth, you are eager to walk, you are fast as lighting when you crawl, you LOVE to dance and groove, you love to swim and play with instruments. You are obsessed with your basketball and basketball hoop!
You can still do without getting your diaper changed and being confined to clothes, strollers, and car seats, but once we get you dressed and get going, you are distracted enough to enjoy yourself and always love your “mommy and me adventures”.
You make your dad and I laugh ALL. THE. TIME… whether it’s your need to babble when you are tired, laugh when other people are laughing to “join in the fun,” or wake at 2am and think it’s party time… you always keep us entertained.
Speaking of waking in the middle of the night… You are still not sleeping through the night, but to be honest, it’s okay– as I look forward to the quiet time with you and love when you fall back asleep in my arms as you nurse. However, at least once a week you love a middle of the night party. Sometimes while you nurse your eyes pop wide open, you start to giggle and I think… “oh no,” and sure enough you are cracking up, tapping your dad on the head, trying to pet Nemo, tickling me and doing your infamous “Nestea Ice Tea Plunge” in our bed. Some people may not get the 90’s reference, but in short, you think it’s hilarious to stand up and just fall straight back on the bed over and over again until you tire yourself out and fall back asleep.
Current clothing size: 18-24
Current nick name: Bamm-Bamm (in addition to picking heavy things up all the time… one morning you woke up with one arm out of your sleeve and your dad has been calling you Bamm-Bamm ever since).
Current favorite food: blueberries
Current favorite things to do: swim class, music class and walk around the house with your walker– you love your walker!!!
Current favorite toy: a suitcase! due to all our travel… there is always one out… and you LOVE them! obsessed!
Current favorite adventure: Going to the San Francisco Children’s Creativity museum with your music buddies, Elliot and Grayson
To my bruiser, my Bamm-Bamm, my baby– thank you for being an everyday reminder of God’s love and Daddy’s love. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see grass, wind, birds, trees, water and people differently. Thank you for seeing everything and everyone in an innocent judgement free way. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better human!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We love you so much!
I can’t even believe you are ten months old! I honestly cannot wrap my mind around how fast things are moving… Including you. You are the fastest crawler I have ever seen! It’s amazing to watch you learn a “trick” one day and master it the next.
You are standing up — on your own, and if you do use the assistance of the coffee table or your dads head, you quickly let go and want no help.
We are mesmerized by your developments, and your personality is really starting to show.
It is clear that you hate being strapped in to ANYTHING– car seat, stroller, high chair…. even clothes.
You love to laugh and make people smile.
You love to rival any loud noise… the vacuum, the vita-mix, my singing :) as soon as something loud kicks in you smile and laugh and try to out “loud” it.
You love to play “where’s mamma”… I hide and say “where’s mamma,” and you giggle and the laugh the whole time as you crawl to me. And then “where’s mamma” turns in to an advanced game of peekaboo.
You also love to play a mean game of peekaboo with anything you can look under… Blankets, rugs, tables, toys. We are always wandering what you are looking for.
We made another trip this month… Imagine that. We went to Los Angeles to visit Aunt Lyndsy… Oh, and you finally got to meet Mr. and Mrs. Wittrock, mommy’s classmates and dear friends from Juilliard.
LA proved to be exciting with swimming, walks, dinners, jam sessions and lots of play time with Aunt Lyndsy. However, our trip was much shorter than planned because the normal 6 hour drive down ended up taking 17 hours because someone HATES their car seat (a new car seat non the less). You are really going to have to get better at this whole car seat thing if you want to keep going places.
Speaking of going places… If we take our eyes off you for one second, you are climbing, crawling, and causing some serious havoc. Your dad has nicknamed you “Crash” as you run into furniture, pull furniture down or on top of you, throw food and grab anything you aren’t supposed to have from cell phones to toilet paper.
This month in particularly has us on our toes but also has us laughing. You have so much personality. In fact, yesterday morning you woke us up with a noise that sounded like “hey,” and when we looked over to your crib, you were staring at us smiling and waving… you LOVE to wave!
Your personality is also coming through during meal time. When we put down several options on your high chair chances are you go directly to the fruit first. Especially blueberries and strawberries. You love spinach, eggs, fruit (except watermelon and cantaloupe), pasta, chicken, broccoli… you love to eat.
Dear Crash– thanks for keeping us extremely entertained this month, and thank you for finally re-recognizing your bedtime, it’s nice to be able to get a little sleep. One thing we ask is that you take it easy on the furniture, the dog the cat and the floors… Let’s work on these crash landings. We love you so much and are so honored to be your parents and are so proud of you!
You love our at home jam sessions and our music class jam session… You seem to enjoy playing the drum the most! It’s so fun watching you discover the beat and the different instruments.
There are some people in life that that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and just live a little better…
These are our people!
Devin and I can’t spend enough time with these two families, and their little love bugs. Not only did we all move to San Francisco around the same time but our babies are all a month apart! It’s been such a blessing going through this journey with these amazing, talented, loving, kind, hilarious, fun and inspiring people!
Today we picnicked at Oyster Point. It was a stunning Saturday here in San Francisco, and when we weren’t all swooning over our kiddo’s we managed to play a little football and soccer and hike close to four miles.
It was a perfect day… great food… great fun… great friends…
Everyday Devin and I are thankful for our friends…
We are blessed to have so many people in our lives that remind us we are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem and smarter than we think…
… and Maya!
For as long as I can remember I’ve always worked on the Fourth of July. Every year Devin would complain about us never doing anythng for the fourth and every year I would tell him he could join me at what ever hosting job I had or conference center I would be stuck in… However, now that we have Cash I’ve cut back on travel and work and that means being together as a family for the Fourth… Since it’s been so long since I had to “make plans” for this holiday I was relieved (and excited) when the Wade family told me we would be celebrating Maya’s first birthday Fourth of July.
…So this family suited up in our Patriotic colors, bbq’d, laughed, ate, drank, celebrated two birthdays and managed to even have a brief history lesson (thanks to Dustin, his America History Education, current service to our country and killer American Flag shorts).
Managed to document some of the fun we had with some of our favorite people and thier little cuties.
party party party
I finally had a minute to highlight your 8th and 9th month… and boy have you been busy!
I’m quite behind on keeping up with all your developments… But it’s because of your developments I’m behind.
You no longer sit still, and therefore, there is no down time for me. No down time for me means no writing, no blogging and truthfully, not much time for anything that doesn’t involve you and your mobility. By mobility, I mean keeping you from the dog food and from bopping your head as you lift, scoot, crawl, and shuffle.
Speaking of bopping your head– we had our first official accident while in NYC (yes that’s correct. You had yet another cross country trip– SF to NYC. NYC to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh to Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh to SF– I’ll come back to that– for now let’s go back to you bopping around). While in NYC, you became mobile and mommy wasn’t ready for it. It’s true what they say… “One minute babies do nothing… The next minute they do everything.” In any case, we ended up at the doctor who appreciated that I was extra cautious but was reassured by your smile and giggling that you were fine. She also said she was sorry to report this would be the first of many tumbles. I would however, like to request there not be many more tumbles. I’m hoping she is wrong, and that you will turn out to be the most graceful 26 pound 9 month old baby there ever was :)
Yep that’s correct. You weigh 26 pounds!!!
Side note: you are 30″ long and are in the 99.9% for height and weight. (Fun fact: your head is not on the charts).
You have been busy traveling with us for daddy’s work (NYC), mommy’s work (Louisiana) and family obligations Pittsburg). Cuz D and Cuz B had their first summer travel league baseball tournament, and we weren’t going to miss that (or the chance to show off your swimming skills in Aunt Jen and Uncle Mike’s pool over Memorial Day weekend).
Shortly after you turned 7 months you started crawling and haven’t stopped moving since… You are keeping me on my toes. Even with a baby gate and a helpful Pack n’play you manage to pick on Nemo and terrorize the kitty cat.
Your developments are quite impressive AND keeping you up at night. You are a text book case when it comes to sleep regression… You are so excited about everything you are accomplishing during the day that you are not sleeping, and you not sleeping means I’m not sleeping. In fact, last night you played for three hours as you rejected your 7pm bedtime. From 6:30-9:30pm you showed me all your new tricks even while confined to your comfy crib; Crawling… Pulling yourself up… Walking along the crib… Rolling your tongue…. Making fun noises with your lips… Playing “peek a boo”, imitating and bouncing all around. Wearing yourself out was not and has not been an option for the last 4 weeks (invert yawn and sigh). Even with your dad out of town frequently for business and me being on double duty, I can’t be mad that we are loosing sleep because you are (a) so stinking cute, (b) so proud of your accomplishments and (c) cracking yourself up. All of which makes me smile, even at 3am.
You are eating like a champ! I’m still making all your food, but now that you don’t “have” to eat purées, I’m stepping up my game and finding fun healthy recipes for you and the family. You LOVE chili, lasagna, eggs, broccoli, tater tots, spinach bites and even burritos. You love fruit and cheese and still can’t get enough avocado. Prunes and pears are still a favorite, but truthfully, there isn’t much you won’t eat. We have been making it a priority to eat as many meals as possible as a family. I’m sure daddy is grateful that you love breakfast as he is benefitting from the omelets and homemade apple cinnamon pancakes as well.
Speaking of food–
You are such a ham! You talk to and smile at everyone!!! From the concierge employees in our building to the strangers in the coffee shop… You bring a smile everywhere you go! You are waving and laughing and gabbing to get all the attention. Cashiers at the grocery store, strangers on the street, friends at church and friends in music class keep predicting you are going to be a professional athlete because of your size. Your dad and I just laugh and smile.
Throughout all of our travel you were reunited with some of your favorites and introduced to many new favorites.
Nana is officially your favorite babysitter. She has been traveling with us and helping to lighten the load, and boy do you love spending time with her and vice versa.
Your favorite things to do:
Play the drums at music class
Picnic with Emory and Maya
Sit and stand (all night long) in your crib
Wave hi and goodbye
Examine mommy and daddy’s teeth
Take baths (and poop in them)
Imitate sounds and lip movements
Things you could live without:
Getting your diaper changed
Riding in your car seat
Your dad and I still cannot believe how much our lives have changed since you came along. We look forward to everyday with you. We thank you for making us parents and for teaching us about life, love, laughter, patience, faith and God. Oh, how we pray we that we will always remember these movements, and that we will continue to learn from each other and help you to be the best person you can be.
Thank you for reminding us what life is about… Thank you for helping us to focus on friendships, relationships, faith, family and love.
We love you sweet boy… now lets get back to sleeping through the night!
I love tuesdays! Each week, Cash and I go to our Mom’s Group at Epic Church! It’s a chance for him to play and laugh with his friends, while I grow and learn with a bunch of Epic moms! Last Tuesday our incredible Bible Study Group leaders arranged for a little “Mothers Day” pampering party!
These “Epic Church” moms are the definition of epic:
EPIC [ep-ik]: heroic; majestic; impressively great.
The thing I will miss MOST about leaving San Francisco is this church and these moms!
But I truly believe distance means so little when someone means so much! These ladies will forever be my friends and family!
Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it
– Proverbs 22:6 KJV