A week of milestones: “Farewell” teeth and “so long” diapers!…Tear.

This week brought with it a couple of milestones that I knew would come soon enough, but was still not fully ready for. I realize how fast little ones grow up, especially between the three mine! It’s like one milestone after another! It surely doesn’t happen without mommy getting a bit sad about the reality of how fast it all goes by.

It seems like yesterday I was adoring on this little face of Ella’s as she was beginning to grow in her baby teeth. At the time it seemed like she couldn’t get those teeth in fast enough. Teething is such a nightmare!

Baby Ella just getting teeth

After winning a fight with the teething monster, Ella finally had her beautifully complete little set of baby teeth which we still adored on…

This little smile...

I couldn’t believe when Ella lost her first two baby teeth on the bottom row already last year. It seemed like even that started so soon! Now as of Monday night, she lost her first tooth on the top and proudly sports a toothless grin yet again!

Her new beautiful toothless smile!

Pretty much from the minute Daddy pulled that top tooth out, I regressed and wished I was looking at that little baby face again… in my mind I still pictured it and wanted it back. But I couldn’t let that stop me from moving on with the moment and sharing the happiness with her as she couldn’t wait to get that wiggly tooth out. It was really bothering her at this point and was getting painful to eat with. It was definitely time to come out! Plus she told us, “I can’t wait till I can talk like thith!” Haha! I love that childhood excitement, and had to remind myself to hide the mommy tears so as not to give her any notion of how I really feel about her growing up sometimes. It just has to happen doesn’t it? I still feel like I’m soaking it in, that this little girl of mine just can’t stay little forever.

Mommy Mantra

..ENJOY EACH MOMENT..YOU NEVER HAVE THEM BACK..

My oldest baby is almost seven and losing her baby teeth, and my youngest is out of diapers!! I definitely needed a good mommy cry this week.

So that other milestone this week was that Grant pretty much will not give me any option with starting up potty training. He was ready to move on from the diaper life for good! Monday morning after breakfast, he came out from his room with a pair of his big boy underwear in hand, asking to put them on. Over the past month or two, he was interested in the potty mostly I’m sure because of big brother and sisters influence. He wore underwear a couple of times and has gone on the potty about twice. It was all random and not further pursued. I just haven’t felt ready to take on the challenge again of potty training. Especially that he is my last baby, and is still barely 2 years old.

Once again though, mommy can’t dictate everything and my little determined toddler has decided for me anyway. Time for the potty!! I won’t post any embarrassing photos, but here is Grant determined to ride a scooter like his older siblings already…

The determined two-year old!

I guess he gets most of his determined nature from his momma. My mom has stories about me wanting to potty train before the age of two! Yikes! Anyway, from the get go I vowed to make Grant my little “Go Green” baby which included going to cloth diapers, exclusively nursing him longer than my other two, and making all of his baby food (which I thoroughly enjoyed!) This was all in part to keep with my promise to make my third baby the most cost friendly and earth friendly baby for our family’s growing needs. I became determined as ever to go as ‘natural’ as possible with him. I don’t know why it never hit me before with the other two. Some where along the way though, I realized how much money I was dumping into diapers and mass-produced, not to mention preservative filled baby foods, as well as the cost of formula towards the end of not nursing Ella and Gavin. I was younger when I had the other two and just didn’t think about things like that so much. I also had two in diapers which I am not sure I would have done cloth for both of them anyway. I also probably wouldn’t have taken it on since I decided not to use a diaper service, and cloth diapering on your own is certainly a messy business!

Here is baby Grant all pinned up around 3 months old..

I pinned my baby lol

After trying out various cloth methods for about the first six months, I decided to stick with the G diaper. I’ll admit the “G” on the diaper may have swayed my decision since it is his initial and all, but mostly it’s just a very cool diaper. It’s a little different from other cloth methods in that it has the plastic insert that you can snap inside. This makes removing and replacing diapers SO easy! It also has a nice flushable/biodegradable insert that I liked using on the go. Especially as he got older! It’s no fun traveling with a dirty cloth diaper let me tell you, so having a flushable option helped!

I seriously LOVED cloth diapering him and really wished I would have done it for Ella and Gav after all. It is a little more work but it’s just so nice knowing their little tush is comfy and protected in a natural way. It gave more time to enjoy me him, relishing the moment of baby while folding and pinning him up. Sounds so cheesy, but I realized that I payed more attention to diapering him than the others. There was something so sweet about it that you can’t find in the experience of a disposable. As you are reading this you might be thinking I’m crazy for carrying on a post this long about a diaper, but it’s that unique of an experience, I’m not kidding!! The real awesome benefit to it though is the help that it does for our planet. The disposable diaper, while the most convenient option, is still a growing issue on landfills. Researchers estimate that it may take 200-500 years for one diaper to decompose. Since diapers haven’t been around for that long, we can’t know for sure but the average child goes through about 5,000 diapers before potty training! That’s a crazy big number of diapers!! I’m not a huge advocate or anything by any means. I’ve certainly done my part in contributing to the problem, but choosing a diaper this time that has a lower environmental impact made me feel like I at least made somewhat of a difference!

The cloth tush

one year!

Wow, so this post has ended up being a lot about this whole diaper thing but that’s probably just me trying to savor the moments that no longer exist since even that couldn’t last forever. Yet another thing I wish I had back. After having to pack up our house, the days of cloth diapering had to come to an end for us. I no longer had the convenient option of washing my own diapers at any given moment of the day. See my post on how I am washing things these days right here.

So the disposable diaper was back!!!…..but not for too long…. As I was saying Grant decided he is too big for diapers and truly came the closest thing to potty (pobby as he calls it) training himself this past week. I of course was right on his tail with ensuring that we were visiting the pobby quite often. He really took to it way easier than I thought! I can’t say I used any particular method this time around. With Ella and Gavin there was definitely a reward system going on. I think there just must be some magic in being the highly influenced and determined little brother, that he just went for it. We had our fair share of accident’s no doubt. Overall in terms of potty training, I have found you just have to go for it and not look back! That has been the one thing I realized and you can’t be half way about it. It’s all or nothing, besides night-time training sometimes of course.

Grant really did such a great job of mastering this milestone this past week, that I am so very proud of him 🙂

See me, I'm a big boy now!!

I can’t even believe I am writing this post because it seems so official now that I no longer have babies on my hands. It’s been many bitter-sweet moments this past week that are just par for the course of mothering I believe. I must continue to accept these little lives growing up and welcome the happiness for them because it is through each of these steps and progressions that they are forming their own proud moments and learning how to welcome change for themselves as well!

Happy fourth of July, it’s January…

You are wondering why I might blog about July 4th in the dead of January.

Just looking at happy faces and moment’s not forgotten.

It’s these happy faces. Setting excitement to green grass on a warm summer day. Spending time with our family that we love!

*COUSINS*

*DETERMINATION=RIDING A BIKE WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS FOR THE FIRST TIME DURING THE BIKE PARADE!*

*A SMILE WITH HER TATA*

*CURIOUSLY CHECKING OUT THE FESTIVE PINWHEEL*

*ENJOYING THE MOMENT WITH MY DAD AND SISTER*

*CAPTURING A PHOTO OF THE MATCHING ENSEMBLES I MADE FOR THE KIDS*

*MY ADORABLE NEPHEW BENTLEY*

This is the best part about looking back on photos…it’s that moment in time, captured forever. It re-ignites those wonderful memories made and experiences shared. A photo can speak.

These photos spoke to me again about the happy fourth we all had last year. Though it was surrounded with some changes that were about to take place. Between it being the last celebration we would have there at my sister’s house before her family would move to San Diego, and knowing a move was beckoning us as well, that did not stop us from enjoying life in that very moment, and cherishing the fact that we have each other! (Unfortunate thing was that my youngest sister couldn’t make it that day)

*MY PARENTS AND BROTHER-IN-LAW ANDY*

*CALIFORNIA SUMMER + 4TH OF JULY + WATER = GOOD FUN!*

*CUTE PATROL IN ACTION*

Some great memories I felt inclined to share! I LOVE this family of mine so much!

Now I’m about ready for July already…no offense to January. 🙂 Makes me super thankful for this sunny state when we get summer ‘like’ days in the winter though!

 

Home is where my heart is…always

I’m not sure what compelled me to take this photo back in May, as I was outside in our backyard doing some exploring with the kids. At the time it was mostly my inclination to get a shot using the magnified/zoom feature. (That’s always a fun one to me) It could have also been that they were such cute little clovers, a miniature weed as I like to call them, since they tend to pop up out of nowhere. Or purely reveling in the simple beauty that was just steps away from my everyday living. Whatever the reason then however, holds more value to me now that I’ve let go of that way of living for a while. And that brings me to the story behind the “move.”

Sometimes life hits you with things you never thought possible, the ‘curve balls’ as they say, and that’s when you have the opportunities to choose your next path or destination. Of course there is always the alternative, which is to not grab life by the horns and direct it, but rather get swept away from the undertow of what we can’t change. For many it would be a safer reaction to ride that current deeper and let it own you for a while. For me, I know that the calmer water awaits, but not before an upstream battle. We were coasting for a bit I’ll admit but certainly getting nowhere fast. I may not have felt ready or willing to face the challenge of getting through the tough times we’ve been faced with, but I’m not one to sit back and ride things out either. I’m the ‘take charge’ type of personality and it was time to step in and make changes.

One of my favorite flowers in our backyard...such a beautiful fragrance it gave off

 It has never been my intention to become defined by what I have in this world,  or in what I own. What mattered to me years ago, which I’m not afraid to admit, was fitting into what “should” be or what I thought was expected. This world today certainly makes it hard to stay in tune with, and discern what we identify ourselves with. It’s the whole concept of “Living the American Dream” right? It’s so overrated if you ask me!! It’s an obsession with “things.” Whatever happened to just being ok with the simple necessities? As I’ve grown over the years, I’ve realized now what matters most to me is my family that I adore. Lucky for me, I realized this at a time when I needed to most. When people, and jobs, and money felt like it failed us, it was still okay. Time to turn new leaves and directions obviously.

So owning a home with a horrible loan attached to it has been detrimental to many, including myself. Add that to an array of other unforseen hurdles and uh Houston… we have a problem. I’m so not about to let things go down without a fight around here, so my conclusion to the mortgage issue was simple.

Let someone else carry the load for a while…

I love my house, period. But that’s just it, it’s just a house when it comes down to it. It doesn’t define what we are as people in the end. And could it be that in finding someone who can handle the mortgage for a while better than we can, is a way to make it to our end without regrets? After all it’s being proactive and not going for an easy out, which will strengthen our character overall. But was I really ready to let go and be okay with someone or other family using it and calling it their home for a while? The thought of that was more than just an unsettling moment of consideration. It was through much prayer and visualization that I could actually see that the opportunity would become a blessing in disguise for our family. More importantly it was what needed to be done.

Hand washing, here I come!!

After convincing my husband that renting out our home was the answer, we were on our way to yet another huge, life changing event….a two bedroom, one bathroom tri-plex soon awaited the arrival of our six person family. Am I crazy you ask? Maybe so, but my crazy is going to get us results so I am proud of that. It is a huge sacrifice for our family (let me mention we are going without a dishwasher, microwave, washer & dryer, no outlets in the bathroom among other minor things) but it’s down to those simplicities now. I can appreciate that and I want the kids to develop an appreciation for it as well. What we are going without, I’ve realized, is not the end of the world. It’s all those things we have come to expect, because we are used to having them in our life. But not having all the little niceties won’t be the end of me, it will make me even more joyful on the day I do have them again.

It has been a little over a month now and the truth is I am completely content here. It has been so eye-opening to downsize and learn to let go of a lot of the “Stuff” that accumulated over the years. The kids have adjusted well to smaller spaces and less unnecessary toys. Although they are tiny still themselves so they probably hardly notice.  It was actually a great lesson for them as I had them pick only their three favorite toys to bring with us. A few favorites went to storage where they could trade it out at a later time. Most of it I’m proud to say, they opted to donate or give away to friends. The most important thing to me is knowing we don’t need those things or the house to be happy. Our home is without a doubt where our heart is. Our heart and family are here now and there is nothing more I need or could ask for when it comes down to it. Thankfully we found a nice family to rent our home to, and I’m grateful to give them a place to call home as well.

Till we meet again...

I know I was blessed to have the opportunity to make all the sweet memories we h aveat our home for the past 8 years. From bringing each baby home from the hospital, and welcoming them to their new world, the day little legs and hands first crawled across the floors, the sounds of the kids busy at play, the good nights and good mornings, the beauty in my backyard, to the toy messes and random silly bands I’d find around the place…It’s all kept close to my heart. While one door has closed on those times for us for a short while, another one opened to pick up where it left off. There are plenty of new memories to be made here for the time being! So I’m okay with letting go.  I consider this a small adventure on the big journey of life and I have faith that I’m headed the right direction.

It was a touch of Hawaii every time I looked out from my kitchen.