Friday, May 31, 2013


Dear Karyanna,

In case I ever forget to tell you, you LOVE paper.  More specifically you love to eat paper.  It doesn't matter what is going on, if I (or anyone) gives you a piece of paper you go absolutely bonkers.  So excited, so excited. You flap your arms and bounce up and down.

You are also really good at finding paper.  I feel like I clean up wrappers, mail and receipts all the time but somehow you manage to find more and put it in your mouth.  Your'e really good at getting things in your mouth before I can get to you.

Another thing you are particularly attracted to is cat food.  I know you'll grow out of all of this. And as much as you keep me moving, I think it's the cutest thing. I come around a corner and you purse your lips, like maybe I won't know you just put a crunchy piece of kibble in there.  When I reach down to grab it out your tighten your lips even more.  It's so damn cute!

I love you!



Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Baby Sister

Today is the day and I can't sleep.

My baby sister gets married in approximately 10 hours. 

I can hardly believe it!  It seems like just yesterday we were hiding out in the dog house, biding our time before we could go back inside the house; climbing trees, riding bikes and wearing each other's clothes; laughing at how amazingly we are connected that she could draw a circle and I knew she meant "complete." 

She's the last of the 'Phillips Girls' to change her name. I can't imagine how bittersweet that must be for my parents.

I remember growing up the frustration she felt because it seemed like none of the guys liked her. Truth is, none of the guys could handle her.  Jenn is her own force of nature. They only thing that could equal that is another force of nature.  Ever since I heard the lyrics "...that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano" I knew that was the perfect way to describe Dave and Jenn.  Equally powerful.  She needed someone that could challenge her; expand the way she saw the world. David is exactly that for her.

I am so excited to watch them grow as a couple.  There is something indescribable that happens once you say those vows. I hope they feel it. It's so powerful and binding.  But if there's one thing they have, it's that they never give up on each other.  They are always there, always fighting for the other, always figuring out the best way for THEM. I think if more couples were to have that much perseverance in their relationship, we'd see a lot more happiness!

Welcome to the family (officially) Dave! I'm thrilled to have you for a brother-in-law. I know you'll take great care of my sister.  You bring to this family such tenacity and steadfastness. I'm glad Jenn picked you (and vice-versa!) 

I love you Benny, fer-fer, Boo-Boo, Tuffy, Merriweather, Flounder, Jenny-Rose, Jammin' Jennifer!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Note: This awesome card was from my dear friend Jordana from something totally unrelated
Wow!  I am speechless from the incredible amounts of support, well wishes and stories from others.  Everyone has been so sweet and it has made me even more grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life!

     I had no idea how prevalent this whole high cholesterol thing was in my age group! Yes yes, I know I'm not a kid anymore, but I'm still in my twenties. You'd think we'd all be healthier.  It just goes to show how vigilant we all must be when it comes to our health.

     Changes so far have gone great.  Mid week I had a coffee shop meet up and left STARVING and I was still 30 minutes from home with a baby who needed to be changed, fed and put down for a nap, so my rationale was that I was an hour, at minimum, from eating. It makes sense and would be so convenient to run through McDonald's and grab some "chicky noogies" or a cheeseburger. I literally had to talk myself out of it three times...boy old habits are hard. to. break. But I did it, and I went home and made myself a delicious and far more satisfying (and healthy) lunch.

    Thank you for all your great support, I'm sure I'll be keeping you up to date.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wake Up Call

I can't even...I don't know where to start.

     I decided to go in for a yearly physical. I thought since I'm working on loosing weight and I have some big goals, I should go in and get a baseline, or starting point if you will.  It's no secret I need to loose weight. I've been working on it. Before I got pregnant I had lost 20 lbs.  Awesome.  I'm officially down 30 lbs from summer 2011, but I've got quite a ways to go.

     I got a call from my doctor's office yesterday. I have moderately high cholesterol.  Wait, what? No I don't! My blood pressure is amazing, how can I have high cholesterol?!? I could go out and run a couple miles right now if I wanted to, how can I have high cholesterol?!? I don't smoke, how can I have high cholesterol?!?

     I have a shitty diet, that's how.

     It hit me with a ton of bricks. Not at first, but as I started doing research and seeing exactly where I'm at on the scale of things and what I need to do to get better. Yikes!  I'd never paid attention to cholesterol info before. I never thought it would affect me. Type 2 Diabetes? Sure, I love sugar. It wouldn't be a good thing, but I would've been mentally prepared to hear that. But cholesterol? Really?

     Now, thanks to dead beat dads I only know 1/4 of my family health history (side note: I prefer it that way because my dad is the best and I wouldn't trade him for anything!) so I don't know if I'm pre-disposed to having high cholesterol or not. But, like I said before, I generally eat like crap. That changes now!

     It scared the crap out of me, more than anything else, to think I could literally have a heart attack at any moment and leave Karyanna without a mommy...or she would grow up calling someone else mommy.  Still brings tears to my eyes to even consider.  And then it spiraled when I thought of the what if' what if I hadn't decided to go get everything checked out? I wouldn't have know. It would have gotten worse.

     I guess wake up calls happen for a reason.  Well this chick is wo-ken-up! Fast food? Done. Pizza? Done. Casseroles? Done. I know I will feel so great making these changes, but now I have to learn so much.  Reading labels now goes from just looking at caloric content, but fat and cholesterol too.  I firmly believe in moderation, but this stuff has to be out until I'm in a normal range again.

     Any helpful, kind feedback is appreciated. Does anyone else have experience with this?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Rough Night

Oh man, last night was a doozy!

     I went to bed around 11 pm as usual, didn't get to sleep until 12:30 am-ish as usual, Karyanna woke up around 4 as usual. But not-as-usual, she didn't want to go back to sleep. Also not-as-usual, she could hardly nurse.  Every time she got going she'd choke because she could breathe because she has a stuffed up nose. But her not sleeping had nothing to do with her being sick, or at least I assume so.

     Also very not-as-usual, she wouldn't look at me.  I feel like, if you've seen Snuffy around me, you wouldn't believe that, because aside from the comments of how pretty she is, the second (or third) most common comment I get is how much she focuses on just me. It's always warmed my heart, but I assure people she really is a Daddy's Girl

     It scared me though. The child literally would not look at me. I'd move her, I'd move me, I'd make noises (good and bad) and the most I'd get was a millisecond glance. So great, not only is my child not eating, she also won't look at me. 

     I started to worry. "Oh no, is this her weaning? Is she becoming a teenager already? Did I do something that offends a 5-month-old? Is she done nursing for good." (Calm down mama, breath, she's sick, that's all.) 

     An hour had gone by, at this point I could barely keep my eyes open and she was playing, as well as not looking at me...or eating, so I moved positions and had us perpendicular on the bed. [Don't worry, it didn't bother Nick, because he's sick as well, he was snoozing on the couch.] I gave up when that didn't change anything and let myself nod off and figure she'll play until she's ready to sleep or nurse. I couldn't have been out for ten minutes when a thud and bloody-murder-screaming-baby woke me up.

     Panic. Adrenaline. Snuggles. Nursing. Puking.  That all happened within thirty seconds. Naturally then I was scared she had a bad concussion. (Isn't puking a sign of concussion?) Still the child wouldn't look at me, so I called Nick in and as soon as she was in his arms BAM! the little stinker looks right over at me!

     Awesome.  We assess that she is, in fact probably okay.  She won't really nurse, or look at me again, so I give up and move to the couch.  I'm fighting my hardest to hold back the tears and Nick takes her and BAM! she's staring at me again...even cracks a smile. Cue the most relieved sob-fest I've ever had! The whole time he was holding her she was looking and smiling at me. My baby really IS okay!

After about a half hour we move back to the bed. It's just after 6 am and Nick should be getting up soon.  We crawl in, she nurses great and we both sleep for three hours. I'm still tired now, but she's just wanted to snuggle all day and whenever I lay her down (except for naps) she starts crying...I'm alright with that though, because after last night, I kinda need the snuggles too!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Letter to My Daughter

To my dearest Karyanna,

I love you. I can't think of any other way to put it. I watch you sleep every night and I thank God that I get the privilege of being your mommy.  I  am absolutely in awe of you. 

You are so beautiful, so fragile, and completely the center of my world right now. I'm sure that as you get older we'll have our arguments; you wil frustrate me and I will annoy you, but for now we are us. 

We literally spend all day everyday together. When it's time for you to go to sleep we are both ready for it, but after its been a couple hours, I'm ready to swoop you up and crawl into bed. Sometimes it's hard not to wake you up if you're taking a long nap, because I just miss you! 

Being your mother is truly my greatest accomplishment ever. I feel fiercely protective over you. I'm sorry if that gets in the way of things later. Hopefully, when you have children of your own you will be able to understand. 

I want you to know you will never be too old for a hug or a kiss from me (or from your dad!) there is not a thing you could do that can stop the love I have for your in my heart. Nothing can replace you, nothing can weaken how I feel. 

I love watching your little mind work and grow and gain new comprehension everyday. You have the happiest, most loving little personality. And you are SO beautiful! Everywhere I go people stop me to look at you. My darling you were designed to stand out. I pray that you use that magnetism to love on people and make lives better. 

You are my little sun. Thank you for coming into my life. I love you!

Mi propia vida

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's the Little Things

Having a baby changes you. There's no question about it.

     I've been reminiscing a lot about our life before Karyanna stormed in.  We were happy, carefree, irresponsible and perhaps a bit reckless at times. We spent almost nine years just the two of us

     I remember being convinced we were ready for kids seven years ago.  The picture to the right was taken almost four years ago. We stayed up too late, got up too early slept in way too late and ate entirely too much!

     Our life is drastically different. We still stay up too late, but we do get up early. Our diet is awesome getting better and better everyday.  We've become incredibly routine in our day and our biggest form of entertainment lies in watching Snuffy almost roll over. 

     And you know what? I'm one-hundred percent happier than I used to be.  Having sweet girl around though, means little to no alone time for Nick and I.  We haven't had many opportunities to connect on a real friendship level like before. Which is fine, we're both so wrapped up in our little sweetie that we haven't felt we needed it. 

     But last night we took some extra time for one another. It wasn't until this morning that I realized how much I had missed him. I almost went to bed, and I'm so glad I didn't.  We simply chit-chatted while he was doing dinner prep for tonight, but we reconnected.  I remembered just exactly why he is my best friend.

He's funny, caring and smart and I am so lucky to have married such an incredible man. I really hope nights like that happen more often, because as awesome as my daughter is, my husband is still my favorite person in the world!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Is it too late???

Is it too late to be good? As the beauty of this picture shows, "No, it is never too late to be good."  Karyanna and I had quite the last couple of days...

     Really it started last Friday. She's either teething, or catching a cold, or growing, or something because she has been whiny, snuggly, sleepy and as far as she goes grumpy. But a weekend of snuggles is not so bad really.  She rallied and was able to go out for New Year's Eve, but the day after was super fussy again.

And then it happened...

     My good friend Sarah was visiting (she lives in Hawaii) and we went into Portland to get some delicious Stumptown Coffee. It was really crowded so Nick stood in line while we went and grabbed a table.  We had been out of the house for awhile and it was time for Snuffy to eat.  I went to grab my "Hooter-Hider" and instead pulled out an apron.  Lovely.  I knew both items were in there this morning and I grabbed one of them out in an attempt to lighten the load.   As they are similar prints and the same colors I apparently took out the HH. (Side note: don't judge me for having an apron in my diaper bag. It was legit there because I had picked it up the night before a couple days earlier at my mom's house after leaving it there a month ago.) I do what I can, got creative and made it work.

     She ate like a champ, had a small burp and was sitting there having a great time. As Nick sits down with us and hands me my coffee she pukes.  Now, this wasn't a tiny little upchuck, this was full on completely drenching her shirt, the entire front of my shirt and some of the apron.  She never does that! Afterwards she was all smiles and wobbles, but man, I've never seen so much come out of a little baby before.  I handled it quite well and was super glad she had not one but two outfits in her diaper bag for me to choose from.  We went out to the car, changed her clothes (which, after I pulled her onesie off I found a cockroach like bug in it, super scary to think it may have been ON HER!) and went back inside. 

     We sat there for close to an hour chit-chatting and having a good time.  Just as we were getting ready to leave she poops. NBD right? Oh no, this was a blowout.  Are you kidding me?!? Welp ok, good thing we were planning on leaving anyway. So we go back out to the car and change, again, this time even more thankful I had two extra outfits in her diaper bag. But I used the last of the "diaper bag wipes."  

     Fast forward to the next day and she was hanging out in diapers all day. With the new year I decided to switch to Fuzzibunz (cloth diapers) and we tried it out yesterday.  Well, the infant setting was too big for her so I tightened another one down.  That ended up being too tight and she woke up because her legs were loosing circulation (awesome mommy award for me!) I switched her back to her Hawaiian Huggies (my favorite disposables because their so cute!) and she poops. I go to change her and we have no wipes at home either.  Mental  note, go to the store tonight.  Somehow I found in our box of baby samples one wipe left.  That will hafta do until daddy gets home!

    Right before Nick comes home, I like to get her dressed and "presentable."  I've read about cleaning kids faces and meeting their dad at the door. I liked it, it works for us.  He could tell the day had been bad. Karyanna looked grumpy and tired and I hadn't done anything with my hair or put on any makeup and got maybe half the things on my list accomplished (two of which were wake up and have some cocoa.) So he graciously took over and made dinner while I snuggled Snuffy on the couch...and then she poops again. And not just poop, but blowout poop.  TWO DAYS IN A ROW! I can't tell if I'm glad I got her dressed or not. It means more laundry, but it also means I didn't get baby poop up my arm, on my clothes and possibly on the couch as well.  I'm leaning towards a win for getting dressed! 

     Mind you, I ran out of wipes earlier. She hasn't pooped two days in a row for over 6 weeks, let alone twice in one day. Not even baby sharts (since her pediatrician used that word, it is a medical term in my book.)  Being the quick thinker I am, I grab a wash cloth and run it under warm water before tackling the mess. This was seriously the worst blowout she's had too. It ended up over halfway up her back, her foot got in it and she just smiled the whole time.

     After that I put her in the above shirt and like always, she makes up for her indiscretions by being the most loving, smiley and happy baby on earth! I count those as some of the bad days of being a mommy. But really, looking back, it wasn't that bad at all. I'm so thankful I get to love on this girl daily and I hope she grows up knowing that no matter what she does, it's never too late to be good!