Yearly Archives: 2013

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: Ten Months Old

Dear Sirena,

You’ve been a Southern California girl for two months now and you seem to be making yourself at home quite nicely.  This month we started  swim lessons and Gymboree classes and you love both of these activities a lot–you love learning from and interacting with the other kids at Gymboree and you are so comfortable and content in the water, we call you our little fish.

What we love most about being back in Long Beach is how much you have grown as a curious, friendly, social butterfly.  Watching you interact with other people, especially family, and bringing smiles to other people’s faces is one of the greatest joys of being your parents.



The ten month rundown


  • Clapping–You started out touching one fist to the other palm but eventually figured out how to do a slow clap this month.
  • Waving on verbal cue–You’ve been waving for a while now but you understand when someone says “hi” or “bye” and will wave on your own instead of just mimicking someone.
  • Pull ups–You can sit up on your own from lying on your back and you’re trying very hard to pull yourself up to a standing position (any day now, I’m sure!)
  • Showing the love–You sounded out “I love you” after Daddy said it to you on 3/19 and on 3/23 you gave us a kiss after we made kissy faces at you (you open your mouth real wide to give kisses, I’m hoping you’ll eventually grow out of that one 😉 )
  • Sharing is caring–You understand what we mean when we say “Can I have it?” by handing over whatever toy you’re playing with. Then after we say “Thank you” and “Here you go” you reach out to take it back from us.
  • Bring on the chompers–You’ve got four (count ’em, four!) new teeth coming in all at once, all on the top.

Monthly Photos

She’s rocking her University of Redlands future bulldog shirt!

See past monthly photo posts in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

The many facial expressions of Sirena

Can you tell this was not her favorite activity that day? Haha!

Sirena’s first visit to the good ol’ U of R

I was so excited to take Sirena to our alma mater, the University of Redlands, for the annual Multicultural Festival. We took our niece Katelyn along too and it was so fun spending the day with the girls.




Family photo on the Admin Building steps


The view from above her stroller! Love those cheeks.



“Don’t tell me, there’s a giant bulldog behind me.”


Someone’s not happy, lol!





Photo of me with what might become two future Bulldogs?! 🙂

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: Nine Months Old

Dear Sirena,

Your first month in Long Beach  has been a whirlwind and you have enjoyed just about every part of the ride!  It’s amazing how much you have grown and developed in this past month and I think a lot has to do with the fact that you are socializing with so many more people and kiddos than you were when we were living in Oakland.  You are becoming a little social butterfly and it is so much more amazing to see you learn from and enjoy the company of the many people who love and adore you.

Like last month there are so many things you are learning to do each day!  Here’s the latest:

  • Your vocabulary is growing more and more!  The new sound you’ve begun making is “na” and you actually said Dada and Mama on the same day (Feb 15)!
  • Thirsty bear:  You’ve mastered the sippy cup!  I still can’t believe how cute it is seeing you drink out of a straw.
  • Good eater!  You still have yet to pass up any new foods (so far you’ve eaten and enjoyed berries, black beans, rice, tofu, tortilla, mushrooms, bread, avocado, sweet potato, etc.) and you show your enjoyment of good food with a little dance in your high chair.  You’re also learning how to share your food…with Lola.
  • On the move (almost!):  You are so close to crawling it’s not even funny.  You can get yourself down on your hands and knees and rock back and forth but you proceed to plop yourself down on your belly and roll back and forth to get to your destination.
  • Nap time changes:  It only took about a week to do but you transitioned yourself from two 45 minute naps a day to one 2-2.5 hour nap per day.  It’s pretty early for you to transition yourself but we’ve taken your lead and let you determine what nap times work best for you.  So one 2-2.5 hour nap a day it is!



The nine month rundown


  • Feeding herself:  Even though you enjoy a good spoon-feeding every day you would prefer to feed yourself with bite-sized food.  You are so quiet and focused and you have got the pincer grip down like a pro.  Sometimes you’ll pick up the food with your left hand then transfer it to your right hand and proceed to eat it from your right hand.


  • Being left alone:  You’re a great at playing by yourself for a good 20 minutes or so…as long as we are nearby!  As soon as we walk away, even for just a minute, you immediately get upset.  As long as someone is around, though, you are a-okay.

Monthly Photos

See past monthly photo posts in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months

The many facial expressions of Sirena

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: Eight Months Old

Dear Sirena,

This month is a little bittersweet for our little family: it’s super sweet because we’re moving back to Long Beach to be closer to family (woohoo!) but it’s bitter because we’ll be leaving your Auntie Jessie who we are so so close with and we’ll be leaving the beautiful, amazing Bay Area where you were born and where Daddy and I have created a great life.  We know that the move is going to be great for all of us but leading up to the move it’s been rough with our emotions all over the place and just figuring out the logistics of moving a family of four across the state of California!

The things you are learning to do are increasing exponentially daily, here are the latest things you’ve been learning to do:

  • New sounds!  Up until now you’ve been limited to saying “la, la, la” or grunting (haha!) but your vocabulary has now increased to include the sounds ga, da, and ma
  • First word!  Daddy and I were sitting on the bed with you talking about your doggy and you looked straight at Lola and said “gah-gee”. We looked at each other in pure disbelief!  My friend told me to not second guess what we thought we heard so “doggy” is going down in the books as your first word on Feb 4
  • Plug it up:  You can now put your pacifier in your own mouth.  Sometimes it’s upside down and watching you realize that it feels different and flip it around (or not!) is hilarious.
  • Chow time:  We have officially begun a new chapter with solid food.  We waited until after the new year and our trip to Mexico to get you started on solids and luckily the delay hasn’t seemed to bother you at all, you’re a total pro when it comes to food!  So far we’ve only tried out pureed sweet potatoes and carrots and you’re a fan.
  • Hello, baby!  You

We are so looking forward to starting our new life in Long Beach, your mama and daddy’s old stomping grounds.  I know for one you’re going to enjoy the warmer weather!



The eight month rundown


  • Food: We started out easy with some jarred baby food (sweet potatoes and carrots) and so far you are a big fan!
  • Taking things out of other things: You love taking the blocks out of the box or the small cups out of the big cups or your toys of your toy bin.  You could probably do that for hours (okay let’s be honest, for 20 minutes if we’re lucky!)  You’re getting close to understanding the concept of putting things into other things…but one milestone at a time, shall we?


  • Being cramped in the Ergo carrier: Up until now you have loved being snuggled up against us in the Ergo carrier but you’re at a funny stage where you’re getting too big to have your arms inside the carrier and up against our chest but you’re still too small to have your arms outside the carrier because it seems to put too much pressure on your armpits.  More than anything I think it’s because you want to be able to see where we’re walking better and be able to grab at things so for now we’re just putting a couple of blankets under your booty to lift you up higher.

Monthly Photos

She’s sporting a Sublime onesie to commemorate her move to Long Beach!

See past monthly photo posts in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months

The many facial expressions of Sirena

Last days in the Bay Area…

Words cannot quite describe what the Bay Area has meant to Kevin and me. Our relationship with each other grew deeply being on our own, fending for ourselves and making new friends, exploring an amazing group of communities, growing our family with adopting Lola and having Sirena…the list goes on and on. The decision to move back to Long Beach was one of the hardest things we’ve had to do. To be honest, if it weren’t for having Sirena, wanting her to know her family really well, and having the promise of HELP close at hand we probably would not have moved back at least so soon. There was still so much for us to do and experience up there! But reality won out and in the end we were very happy and at peace with our decision. It was just such a hard thing to decide on and work through until it was said and done.

We enjoyed one last “hurrah” with my sister Jessie–a day trip to Albany Bulb for a little hike and cuddles (Jessie and Sirena of course) on a blanket overlooking the bay.










Some final photos of our apartment before we completely tore it apart with packing for the big move!





Family photos on our air-mattress-turned-couch after we sold our couch a couple of weeks before the move. 😉



Kevin’s family (Dorothy, Judith, and Joshua) made the drive up to help us watch Sirena, pack the van, and caravan back down to Long Beach. What an amazing group of people!! Unfortunately I didn’t get one photo of them!

The joint all packed up…



Just looking at this photo makes me shudder!


All of our furniture lined up down the hallway of our apartment building.

Just before we drove off in the moving truck we took some photos of Auntie Jessie with her favorite girls: Sirena and Lola. The relationship that our girls have with Jessie is indescribable and irreplaceable.



Sirena’s Monthly Photos: Seven Months Old

Dear Sirena,

Baby girl, you are growing like a chunky little weed and we cannot get enough of you these days! Seeing you learn how to interact with the world is nothing short of amazing and we are so proud and honored to be along for your journey.

The biggest milestone you reached this month was sitting up on your own!  You’ve been trying to do it for so long and now that you’re finally able to it’s given you so much more independence and the ability to participate in the world in new ways which you are so happy about.

The month leading up to your 7 month birthday was full of new experiences for you and you took it all in like a champ!  First Christmas, first plane ride, first international trip to Mexico, first time in the ocean, first boat ride…  You are such a flexible and easy-going baby (most of the time) and we could not have asked for a better travel buddy.  We truly hope that the Mexican stamp is the first of many in your first passport!

More than anything, at 7 months old you are continuing to become so much more interactive and fun.  You crack us up and make our hearts swoon every single day.

I now understand when other parents talk about feeling that overwhelming and incredible love for their children.  It’s what we have for you, little lady, and I can only imagine how much more this love is going to grow as the years go by.



The seven month rundown


  • Talking: She says “la, la, la, la, la” all the time while sticking her tongue out as far as it can go, it’s hilarious.
  • Being naked: I lay her changing pad on the floor as I get her bath ready and she is the happiest naked baby I have ever seen! She kickskickskicks and giggles so loud while lying naked on the floor. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my day!


  • Loud, startling laughs: She enjoys getting startled/surprised all the time but when someone laughs really loud she gets a little too startled and will start crying!
  • Clothes going on over her head: This is her least favorite part of the day but as soon as it’s over she’s quickly forgotten all about the torture she was just put through.

Monthly Photos

See past monthly photo posts in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

The many facial expressions of Sirena

Our last visitors: B+B’s visit to Oakland

Before our big move back down to Long Beach we were able to host one final set of friends, Brian and Brianne. It was bittersweet but it was so nice to be able to share our second home, the Bay Area, with our closest friends one last time.

We spent the majority of their short visit across the bridge in our favorite city, San Francisco. We visited one of our most favorite spots in the city: Strawberry Hill and Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.






And we made another day trip back across the bridge to do the most touristy thing ever but something none of us had ever done: Alcatraz!



Of course they had to get lunch at Boudin…having worked across from Pier 39 for 3.5 years it was definitely not on my bucket list before we left the Bay Area, haha.


Sirena and Auntie Bri




Nerd alert!


Family photo (minus Lola) with our favorite city in the background



It got freaking chilly after the sun went down on our side of the island and we had to wait for the darn ferry. Glad we came prepared!


Goodbye, San Francisco and the amazing Bay Area. We love you and we’re so grateful for all of our adventures!!

Sirena’s first international trip: Zihuatanejo, Mexico!

To celebrate my good friend Alison’s 30th birthday we tagged along with her family and friends to Zihuatanejo, Mexico for a week-long trip over New Year’s. What an incredible experience, we are so happy we decided to go!


Early morning at LAX, anxiously awaiting Sirena’s first flight ever!



We made it! Sirena did GREAT on the flight.


Patiently waiting in line at customs


Sleepy, sweaty baby on the car ride to the hotel




Sirena wanted a sip of my mango margarita


First time in the sand!


Yummy sand



First taxi ride (notice no car seat?!)


Early morning on the dock, waiting for our boat to go snorkeling


Sirena the sailor. She LOVED the boat ride, not so much the oversized life vest, though…



Birthday girl


Alison and Laura




On Playa las Gatas, accessible via boat


One of the many naps taken on the beach


The most beautiful pina coladas I’ve ever seen!



Our hotel, Quinta Camelinas



Our room


The house neighboring the hotel had a dog that would keep watch from the rooftop, so funny


Some of Sirena’s admirers



The pinata we got Alison for her birthday


Group shot! Minus Sirena and plus Sirena’s sister, her boyfriend, and their friend


Sunset from our hotel


Group dinner


We were so amazed by how many Mexican women would approach us and ask to hold Sirena…the one that blew us away the most was this waitress at Bandido’s who held Sirena for 15 minutes while we ate dinner! She took her around the whole restaurant showing her off to the manager, the bartender, and the street vendors. This was by far one of my favorite memories of the trip!


Family photo on the beach


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Our little mermaid

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Last night in Zihua, walking to dinner

Sirena learning a thing or two from daddy about airplanes, on our way home after an AMAZING trip!

Sirena’s 1st Christmas

We spent a week in Long Beach for the Christmas holiday, staying with my mom and Aunt Tina at their home. Lots of fun outings throughout the week and a wonderful Christmas Eve with the Delmar side of the family and a fun-filled Christmas Day with the Edmonds side of the family.




My fave: crinkle nose!


Enjoying a “meal” in the sunshine










Skyping with Aunt Sarah and Uncle Rob (who were in Detroit for Xmas), messing around with the silly faces app. Hilarious!