Friday, October 28, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Does anyone have any Lemon Pledge?

*clears cobwebs*

It's been awhile, huh? I know, I know...I hate going this long between posts! But I have lots of things in draft form that I'll be posting retrospectively very soon (once I can get time to edit pictures). Turns out having a walking, talking ONE-YEAR-OLD keeps a girl plenty busy. Who knew? ;o)

Stay tuned - I miss you all!


Thursday, September 8, 2011


Um. I'm confused. It seems I have a baby boy who is about to turn one in a week, who is on the verge of walking and driving and dating and going away to college OH MY GAH.

 *deep breath*

OK, I'm better now - had to get that out. It's just that, really, did he not enter this crazy world only a month ago? Wasn't it mere weeks ago that he came wailing into my life and amazed me with his loads of awesome? Because I could have sworn that was the case.

Clearly time flies when you have the best little companion EVER. Also? Tate just woke up from his nap. Didn't I just put him down, like, a minute and a half ago?... There goes that freaking time-flying thing again!

*Joey Lawrence WHOA*

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Busy Boy

We have baby signing ("ball" - he whispers the word, too), standing and trying to climb into the toy bin...AGAIN. Oh, what fun!

Busy boy from Amy B on Vimeo.

(filmed 8/13/11 - 11 months old)

Sunday, August 14, 2011


If I hadn't carried him in my belly for 39 weeks, I might wonder if Tate shared my genes at all!

Baby Mark

Baby Tate
I love my handsome boys!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Boob-Man

Since it's World Breastfeeding Week, I thought now would be a great time to talk about something I do many times a day, something that keeps my boy alive, healthy and thriving. I've mentioned here that I nurse Tate, but I've never taken the time to really talk about how much I love and appreciate being able to do so. Aside from being blessed with a healthy baby, the only thing I wished for when I was pregnant was that I would be able to breastfeed without too many complications. There were the obvious reasons of it being cheaper and more beneficial for baby's health, but for me it was mostly about being able to bond with my baby in such an amazing way*.

On the night Tate was born, my biggest desire was that I would be able to cuddle and put him to the breast as soon as possible. I was very lucky that he responded beautifully the second I pulled him to me; he latched on like a champ! It was such an incredible feeling to know we were off to a great start. The next day, my body responded quickly and began making the golden milk my boy needed. Given that our birth experience turned out to be quite different than I had hoped for, this felt like such a wonderful gift and triumph.

It was the third night in the hospital that I discovered the nurses in the nursery had given Tate a pacifier, even though I'd been pretty clear that it was against our wishes. I quickly wrote in bold letters on his bassinet tag: NO PACIFIERS, PLEASE! It was also that night that they brought him back 5 minutes after we sent him (the night before, he'd stayed in there for almost 5 hours while I got some much-needed rest) saying he seemed hungry and was fussing for the first time since he was born. It became quickly clear he wasn't hungry at all...he just wanted to be comforted & pacified, and it was my boob that was the magic ticket.

Ten and a half months later, not much has changed. My boy is a TOTAL Boob-Man. Some might find this tiresome at times, but I love being just what he needs. I love that my body knows what it needs to do to make sure my son has enough nutritious milk to eat. It honestly makes me feel like Superwoman, which is completely unfair since I find it so comforting and don't have much to do with it at all!

When I nurse Tate, he instantly melts into me and stares up at me with such love in his amazing blue eyes (unless he's tired; then they roll back into his head on the way to dreamland). He will gently play with my necklace or his feet, or snaps my bra-strap while chugging away (something he did - kid you not - starting the second day of his life; we will likely get lots of calls from the principal's office someday!). He's so busy and full of energy all day long, but when it's time to eat, it's suddenly our quiet time to bond and slow it down for a while. I stroke his hair and whisper how much we love him and what a good boy he is. Many times I'll make a sound or smile down at him, causing him to let out muffled giggles that touch my soul in a way I can't describe. This time spent together is my most favorite thing about being a mom besides actually BEING Tate's mom, and I'm grateful to my body for giving me the ability to experience such joy.

*Let me be clear: for those who can't breastfeed or didn't feel comfortable doing so, I'm not here to judge. My heart goes out to those who tried hard and weren't successful, and while I can't understand why someone would choose not to nurse, I'm also in the live-and-let-live camp when it comes to parenting. You do what you need to do - be it nursing, co-sleeping, etc. - and please let me do the same. :o) 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear Tate - 10 Months

Dear sweet bubba,

As I type this, we are in your room surrounded by a sea of books and toys you've been playing with all morning...but you're presently trying to hang from the end table next to me in an attempt to investigate what I'm doing. You're so curious and smart; you blow my mind every hour of every day. Beneath those expressive eyebrows (just like your mama's), behind your beautiful blue-blue eyes (just like your daddy's), I see you learning and understanding so much of the world already and it makes me so, so excited about what the future holds for you and us.

You are a very active little guy, never sitting still for long. You are kind of over crawling - something you perfected months ago - and are instead intent on walking around furniture and pulling yourself up on everything - even if it's a small toy on the floor. You constantly grab things off tables and open drawers to chew on the new things you find; you keep mama very busy! I'm sure you will be walking soon, so it might be time for me to shine up my running shoes!

You play well on your own -- chattering away the whole time -- and occasionally you will stop to take time to cuddle with me for a minute, which absolutely melts my heart. And although you are very independent for a little guy, if I leave you in a room by yourself for a minute, you holler in discontent or start spitting angrily like a camel (which is what you do when you're's quite hilarious, actually). The bond we have is so wonderful. And your dad? Well, he is the coolest, funniest person in the whole world as far as you're concerned, and I totally agree.

You are so easygoing and rarely cry, making it very easy for us to take you out and about. I find it almost embarrassing how far we can push you, be it past your bedtime or feeding schedule (not that we do this often - you eat and nurse on the go in the Ergo), before you will fuss. You also have a crazy high tolerance for pain; when you fall or bump your head on something, you just give a look like, "What was THAT all about?" and then get right back up with no tears. I hope these tendencies mean you are going to be a very adaptable person when you get older.

Oh, are you ever silly - we have so much fun! You love mimicking the things we do, putting toys on your head when daddy does, smacking your lips when I do, and playing chase & giggling with gusto when we catch you. You play peekaboo with blankets and stand on your head, and you recently started blowing kisses - a trick we didn't even teach you! When music comes on, you dance and wiggle your little behind in step with the beat. When I say "Cheeeeese!" you get the biggest cheesy grin on your face, showing all 6 of your cute teeth. You kiss yourself in the mirror with tongue, wave and high-five when prompted and also give zerberts/raspberries, after which point you will laugh and laugh over how clever you are.

I know I already said you are smart, but really... If you get your silly side from me, you get your smarts from your brilliant daddy. I'm almost afraid of the day you become smarter than me; what will I do then?  I recently took a baby sign-language class so we could better communicate with you. The other day as I was feeding you, you suddenly started doing the sign for 'milk' and I was blown away. How quickly you learn, my boy! You repeat words/sounds we say and are already up to five spoken words now: mama, dada, hi, bye and ball. When your daddy comes home from work at night you break out into a smile and breathlessly say, "Hi dada! Hi dada!" while waving at him. I think 'dog' might be your next word, because when you see Molly or Lucy, you excitedly say, "Deh! Deh!" 

Speaking of your pups, you love them so much and they love you in return, letting you crawl on and "pet" them (we are working on being gentle so you don't aggravate them too much). One rainy day about a month ago, I let the dogs in and you went over to Lucy and draped yourself over her. When I noticed you putting something in your mouth and then taking it out to look at, I went to investigate. What I found was a little shocking, my was a SLUG that my precious baby had just taken off the dog! Thank goodness bugs don't gross me out, because you are ALL BOY. I have a feeling this is just a sign of things to come.

We are in the midst of planning your first birthday party, something that took me a while to accept. How are you already over 10 months, TaterBug? I swear I was just dressing you in the long-sleeved kimono t-shirt we stole from the hospital (shhh...don't tell!), and now you are larger than life and well on your way to imprinting the world with your amazing gifts. The future is yours, Tate...I have no doubt you will shine.

I love you times a million and two,

xoxo Your proud mama

Friday, June 17, 2011


I don't think we ever have to worry about whether or not Tate will have a good sense of esteem as an adult. If anything, we will have to reign it in lest he become an egomaniac. This conversation with Mark is a prime example as to why:

Me: Isn't it so great how every parent thinks their baby is the cutest, smartest and sweetest baby in the whole world?

Mark: Well yeah, but that's only because they haven't met Tate!

Me: Um, DUH!

Hehehe...we rock.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I sometimes feel a little panicky over how fast life seems to move these days. Will I remember how intoxicating Tate smells after his bath or the way he always begins talking and cooing - rarely crying - the second he wakes up? How he looks at me with love and plays with my key necklace while nursing?

I take what seems like a million pictures and have close to a hundred videos of our little man already. And still, I worry that someday I might forget something of this most perfect, happy, precious time, of how amazing my boy is.

This parenting gig is like a full exercise of the heart...I love every phase and can't wait to experience all of the fun phases ahead, yet I can barely believe he's no longer my tiny, brand new baby.

 I often tell Tate that no one will ever be loved more than him. Maybe the same, but never, ever more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Six Months!

Ok, HOW has it been six months since my gorgeous boy was born? My God...I swear all I did was *blink* and he went from this:

To this:

Ten pounds, 9 inches, two teeth, a million smiles and a gazillion pint-sized giggles later, and our Tate is a half year old and on his way to ruling the world.

I still tear up daily in amazement over how damn lucky I feel to be his mom, to be the one who is, at times, tired and sleepless as he battles teething and growth spurts and the ever-busy life of a baby learning and attempting to figure out all the new things around him.

At times, life feels a little polarizing as a stay-at-home-mom. I joke that some days feel like the movie 'Groundhog Day' with little changing and everything staying the same. Only that couldn't be farther from the truth. I have this ever-important job of bringing up this boy who has all the promise in the world, who brings me more joy than I thought possible or worthy of experiencing.

I don't post here as much as I thought I would or wish I could but that's because I'm too busy being present for that blue-eyed boy you see above. I'm his mama and he needs me. And you know what? I need him, too -- and it didn't take me six months to realize that...six seconds was more than enough for me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tate - 4.5 months

Look at this little buddy! While these were being taken, the photographer kept stopping to hold her stomach and laugh over how SMILEY he was being. She was practically busting a gut and it was hilarious! We bust our guts daily over the cute things he does, but that's our job, right? She said it was amazing how his whole face lights up when he smiles... It was cool to see someone who doesn't love Tate by default (like our family/friends) be so instantly smitten with him. It just reaffirmed how special our boy is. He is such a vivid light in this world.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Heart

What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than to share with you an audio of Tate's prenatal heartbeat? This was recorded on July 1, 2010 during a doctor's visit before he was born. I love hearing this strong heartbeat today, knowing it belonged to the now vivacious, healthy, happy little boy who has brought so much love to my life.

Today - and every day - I wish you the kind of love that makes your heart go whoosh-whoosh-whoosh and bomp-bomp-bomp. xoxo

Chickpea/Tate Heartbeat - 7/1/10 from Amy B on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tate's Birth Book

I have yet to write out my birth story (and really hope to soon!), but in the meantime this book we made for Tate to read someday does a nice job of outlining some of what occurred on that amazing day. I made this so that we could start the tradition of reading it to Tate on his birthday every year...I imagine him asking questions and adding his own thoughts as the years pass. It's just a little something to honor him so he knows how loved he is and was, from the day he was born!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

If Life Were a Cartoon...

The other day, Tate and I visited Mark at work (with gramma, Aunt Alicia and cousins, too). We walked in and one of Mark's employees took one look at Tate and said, "He is sooooo Tommy Pickles!" I think she might be right*!

 *Tommy is known for being courageous, brave, and for compassionately sticking up for others. I hope Tate is one day known and respected for these same things!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dear Tate - One Year Later

My blue-eyed boy,

A year ago today, I took - and "passed" - one of the most important tests of my life. It was on this day that your daddy and I learned you were growing inside mama's belly and would soon be gracing and changing our lives forever. On that fateful day, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and whispered to myself, "Oh, my..." over the amazing news I had just learned. Now, 365 days later, I cannot even begin to count how many times since that I've done just the same as I stared at you in wonder, so grateful to have you here with us now.

(iPhone tracking app entry from that day)
I remarked in my first post about the ride we were about to embark upon. I wasn't sure what was ahead of us or what to expect during my pregnancy. What I can tell you with certainty is that the ride was even more amazing than I could have ever hoped or asked for. Turns out, it was the kind that had me smiling so big my face hurt, forging new smile lines that I am proud to see now when I look in the mirror at the so-in-love mama you've made me.

It's been four months and three days since you were born, and in that short time I've become a more calm, centered person because of you. I often used to wonder if I would be an anxious mom, but the truth is you bring me so much comfort that I find myself now being able to set aside my worries and fears to just BE for the first time in my life. As long as I have your addictive head and sour cream breath to sniff, all is right in the world.

You are learning and doing so much these days; I find myself so excited to see what you'll do next. You are belly-laughing and reaching for toys to stuff into your mouth. You watch TV with a studied focus (oops?) and press the buttons to make your bouncy seat piano play music for you over and over again. You are drooling with gusto - doc thinks you might be teething already! - and try so hard to perfect your army crawl during tummy time. And just today you finally really noticed your fur-sisters (who love you very much and find you literally delicious with their licking) for the first time -- you heard Lucy bark at the mailman and then couldn't keep your eyes off her and Molly for minutes after. It felt like such a big moment, the start to a beautiful relationship between a boy and his dogs.

I was feeding you this afternoon as you drifted off to sleep when I got a tickle in my throat and coughed. The noise and movement caused you to jerk awake, and in that moment before your silent-cry turned into a hurt wail of confusion, I felt my heart break in two. I immediately pulled you into a hug and rocked you back and forth, whispering "there, there's" as I reeled over how completely terrible it felt to unintentionally scare you in that way. You see, my little one, it is mama's job to make sure you feel safe and loved, and in that moment I vowed - once again - to always do my best to make sure that's the case.

My 8-year career recently ended and I now have the privilege of spending all my days with you. While I only get paid in coos and drool, I can think of no job that is more important than the one I am doing. When I look back on my life years from now, I know I'll never think to myself, "Gosh, I wish I'd gotten a new job instead of taking some time to devote to my boy..." and it was this thinking that made me confident that staying at home with you was the right decision for me, for now. Besides, I really, truly think you are going to change the world some day, Tate. For what it's worth, you've already changed mine in more ways than I can count. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Forever grateful,

Your Mama