a trick-or-treating kangaroo

Lucas went trick-or-treating for the first time Friday night. Yes, I said Friday night. For some reason, our county decided to trick-or-treat on Friday night because Halloween fell on a Sunday. We went with it! The last 2 years, we just dressed Lucas up and gave out candy. This year, we went door to door in our little cul-de-sac. It was perfect for a little guy. He seriously had a blast. He would scuttle up to the door, ring the doorbell (if he could), and say, "knock, knock, trick or treat." He got to go with his cousin, Ryan, too. They were quite the duo.


Project Smile - October

October has become a notoriously bad month for me because it is the month my parents died three years ago and my plate right now is very full with lots of other stresses, but thanks to Alicia's (A Beautiful Mess) Project Smile, here are 31 reasons I found to be happy this month:

1st - The kindness of strangers along the Susan G. Komen for the Cure route.
2nd - Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. I got to cross #23 off my Buried List!
3rd - A celebratory dinner with Leah. We just walked 60 miles!!
4th - Home sweet home, coming home to Lucas. This was the longest I have ever been away from him.
5th - Pink toe nails.
6th - I made dinner!
7th - Blind (lunch) date with @surferwife.
8th - An impromptu overnight trip to Palm Springs.
9th - Coming home. Lucas didn't fair very well in the hotel room, so none of us got any sleep.
10th - Watching Lucas' face light up at all the trains at Travel Town in Griffith Park.
11th - Just a regular ole day where everything goes exactly according to plan.
12th - A great two-hour long workout! I love to sweat.
13th - After being in 102 degree heat at the pumpkin patch... air conditioner!
14th - A much overdue date night at one of my favorite restaurants.
15th - Five grown women making silly faces, funny noises and dancing around trying to get two toddlers to smile for pictures at the pumpkin patch and a champagne toast to two very special people.
16th - Finding a darling house with a nice big backyard and plenty of room to grow. Unfortunately, we had to let it go because we want our current house to sell first. But I know another one just like it or better is out there!
17th - Manicure, pedicure, lunch and shopping with a BFF.
18th - A jammy day! We played hookie from music class and spent the day in front of the TV.
19th - Leaving my therapist's office after an eight month long hiatus and knowing that I'm going to be okay...eventually.
20th - Mommy & Me group mommies only get together. Where would I be without these women?
21st - I FINALLY got the oil changed in my car.
22nd - Finished one book and started and finished another!
23rd - A family bike ride. Lucas loves his helmet.
24th - We spent all day shopping for Lucas! He got new pants, shirts, shoes, bibs and a Thomas the Train set.
25th - A gift from a far away friend. Thank you, Sophie for the soap, it smells too pretty to use. xoxo
26th - A three hour long nap! Mommy was very productive today.
27th - Wine, wine and more wine with friends.
28th - Playing cars with Lucas. An entire hour flew by and I didn't even realize it.
29th - Seeing Steeping Feet, a Dave Matthews Band tribute band.
30th - A husband who lets the mother of his child sleep in.
31st - My little Superman. And candy corn.

Be sure to link up at Alicia's (A Beautiful Mess) Project Smile, or check out her reasons to smile this month. Her photographs are some of the most boo-tiful you will ever see. :)
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tricks & treats


trick or treeeeeeeat 098

chocolate is the best thing that ever happened to gavin west.
and having an entire blue pumpkin bucket filled with the stuff has put him into little boy gavin heaven. it’s gone everywhere with him today and he’s guarding it with every inch of his mini-gavin self.
when luc first saw himself in the mirror with the painted mask – i saw him give himself a sly crooked lukey-smile and a thumbs up. aha! officially a mutant turtle. he woke up this morning with what was left of his leonardo mask. he wore flaking blue paint all. day. long.
i love halloween. i love sending boys to bed with candy filled bellies for one night. i love a little orange and black spookiness going on. i love the vintage witch grammy bought and lucas taped up in his bedroom. i love trying to get gav to say trick-or-treat and him repeating “candy-candy-candy” instead. i love remembering the homemade costumes my mom spent hours on. and then the silly plastic ones we wanted the next year. i love that i gave in to the store bought leo suit and how lucas felt no shame in heading out last night as a teenaged turtle. i love that gavin let me gel his hair and wore argyle socks. i love that andrey took his boys to the annual trunk-or-treat all by himself and left me home to be a baby-mama for halloween and snuggle my newborn.

trick or treeeeeeeat 054trick or treeeeeeeat 096 

happy halloween!
from leo & geeky gavin

Fortune Teller

Halloween is an excuse for women to show off a lot of skin, men to act creepier than usual hidden behind masks and everyone to eat too many sweets. It's not even the 31st and I have already had my fill of candy corn. The last time I "dressed up" was six years ago for a co-workers Halloween party and I was a very demure 50's girl complete with poodle skirt, cardigan sweater, pigtails and Keds. Clearly, I have never been a big fan of this holiday. I am, however, looking forward to creating new traditions for and with Lucas and this year will be his first time trick-or-treating. Pictures on Monday!

One thing about Halloween that is very intriguing to me are haunted houses, ghost stories, witches and fortune tellers. Like most, I'm not overly comfortable with the macabre, but there is a large part of me that believes strongly in the afterlife, mediums and those who can communicate with the dead and not a Halloween goes by that I don't think about a story my grandmother and then mother used to tell me.

I didn't know my grandmother (my mom's mother) very well. We always lived very far away from my grandparents and we only saw them once a year. What I do recall is that she was a heavy smoker, very loud, collected owl figurines and loved to sew. The story she told made chills run up and down my spine.

My grandmother was 15 and out shopping with a girlfriend and stumbled upon a fortune teller. For kicks, they decided to go in. My grandmother went first and the psychic told her the "standard", you'll marry someone tall, dark and handsome, to which my grandmother giggled and then promptly forgot.

When it was her friend's turn, the fortune teller clammed up and became very jittery. She claimed that she couldn't tell the girl's fortune because nothing was coming to her and instead wrote something on a piece of paper and asked her to put the note in her shoe and read once she got home.

The two girls carried on with their day, had lunch, did more shopping and as they were heading home crossed a busy intersection. My grandmother's friend was hit a car. She was instantly killed.

According to my grandmother, the note tucked in her shoe read, "you'll never live to read this".

I have never heard this story from anyone else so as far as I know, it is true.

Wishing everyone a very happy and safe Halloween!

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Growing Up

They say youth is wasted on the young.

They are right.

When I was younger I couldn't wait to grow up.

I was a a fool.

I wanted to live by my own rules and not have anyone breathing down my neck about my homework, bedroom or social life.

It was for my own good.

I wanted to crank up my music as loud as could without anyone asking me to turn it down and dress all in black if the mood struck me without anyone harping on me about it or reading into it.

What the hell did I know?

I wanted my own car so that I could go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted, instead of having to negotiate pick ups, drop offs and chaperones. I hated having a curfew and thought, when I grow up and I'm out on my own, I'll stay out all night long if I want to.

I was cared for and loved.

I wanted my own money so that I could buy whatever I wanted, shop to my heart's content, throw elaborate parties for all my friends and look and feel fabulous all the while.

I must have been wearing rose-colored glasses.

When I was younger, I thought being a grown up would be so fun. So glamorous.


I never stopped to think about how I was going to pay for my super exciting adult life. I didn't know the first thing about living on my own or working a 40+ hour week, car insurance, medical bills, parenthood or responsibility.

Being an adult is tough and full of stresses and heartaches. I didn't know how easy and carefree being a kid was and I wish I had appreciated it more.

Growing up doesn't happen overnight, and in a lot of ways, even though my 38 years says I'm an adult now, I feel like I am still a work in progress. I am STILL growing up, coming into my own and becoming comfortable in my skin.

Much of my growing up has happened since I became a mother. In the last 16 months, I have realized how quickly time passes and how my priorities (whether I like it or not) have shifted. I have also come to realize that growing up is about courage. And discovery. And change.

I can't wait to see what kind of man Lucas will be someday, but I hope it doesn't happen too fast.

I like my life and there are very few things that I would change about it and I would never go back to being a kid again, but I do wish I could have waited to get older.

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Reforma Luterana

Culto da Reforma dia 30/10 às 18 horas, Não Percam!!!

A Reforma Luterana, iniciada pelo Dr. Martinho Lutero em 31 de outubro de 1517 e a igreja cristã de hoje e de todas as épocas, estão firmadas num tripé que as mantém e sustenta. Esse tripé é composto pelos seguintes pés:

"Sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura."
Somente pela graça, Somente pela Fé e somente pelas Escrituras.

Isto é também representado na Rosa de Lutero. Você sabe o significado da Rosa de Lutero?

Este é o símbolo maior da Reforma Luterana. O significado de cada uma das partes da rosa é:

A cruz preta: lembra os nossos pecados que levaram Jesus a morrer na cruz por nós (1Pe 2.24; 1Jo 2.2).
O coração vermelho: é a fé, operada pelo Espírito Santo, através da qual recebemos o perdão que Cristo conquistou por nós. Diz Lutero: “De coração devemos crer no Cristo crucificado para obtermos a salvação”. Assim, este é o coração lavado pelo sangue de Jesus derramado em nosso favor (Rm 10.9).
A Rosa branca: lembra a santidade e pureza de Cristo; e que por meio da fé, é concedido ao que crê. Cristo nos concede Vida, alegria, consolo, e a Paz que excede todo entendimento (1Jo 1.7; Ap 7.14; 22.14; Mt 5.8).
As folhas verdes: nossa esperança da vida eterna – que temos em Cristo – e o crescimento da família de Deus, que permanece unida ao Senhor e Salvador Jesus (Ef 2.21; Cl 2.19; 1Pe 2.2).
O fundo azul: lembra o que Jesus conquistou; e que os seguidores de Cristo esperam – a vida feliz e eterna no céu (Rm 5.2; Cl 1.5; Tt 3.7; 1Pe 1.3).
O círculo dourado: lembra a aliança que Deus fez conosco baseado no sangue que Jesus derramou na cruz. Esta aliança nos concede uma Vida Eterna que assim como a circunferência não tem fim. Lembra também a eternidade do próprio Deus. O dourado destaca que a salvação é válida acima de todas as posses (Lc 22.20; Mc 14.24; Cl 1.20; 1Co 11.25; Hb 13.20; ).

Pr. Maiquel Hellwig

Gettin' scared yet?

Wooo hoo! It's almost Halloween and I for one can't wait!
I just finished teaching a yoga class and afterwards we all discussed our spooky plans! I know where I'll be, and I am hoping to see YOU in Yaletown down at the Roundhouse!

Did you know that you can trick or treat through Yaletown for free? It's courtesy of the Yaletown Business Improvement Association. You can join performers and musicians as they parade their way through Yaletown on Sunday Oct 31, and thats from 3:30-5:30. Talk about some howlin' good times :)
Pick up a trick or treat route map at the Roundhouse front desk on the day of... and away you go!
After that come and see us at the Roundhouse for some ghoulish good times from 4:30-7:30!
Admission is just $5 bucks and it promises to be so very fun! You can dance to some Halloween favourites in our "Creepy Hollow". There will be batty crafts, ghoulish activities and so much more.

I know thats where I'll be, thats for sure! Come and have some good spooky fun for the whole family! Register at the Roundhouse front desk today! 604-713-1800
*Please bring a donation for the food bank to support us in helping those in need.

You Know You're A Mom When-sDaze

You know you're a mom when...
  • You walk around with raccoon eyes and people often tell you you look tired or my new favorite, 'fatigued' and you feel like screaming, "uh, no s*it, I have a toddler!".
  • You hire a babysitter for the evening so that you can go out with your friends, but all you really want to do is to curl up in front of the TV in your pjs.
  • You carry your SPF face cream with you in your purse because 90% of the time you walk out of the house without putting it on because you are too busy getting your child ready.
  • You can't wait until your tot can tell you exactly what they're thinking because you just want to know what's going on inside their head.
  • Even though you know it's bad to linger, the sad face and cries for "mama" break your heart when you are trying to get out the door without him.
  • It's a productive day when you get a three hour long nap from your little one. Bless you child!
Be sure to link up with your own You Know You're a Mom When-sDaze list at Mommy of a Monster.

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Love Bites

It has only happened a couple of times, but when toddler kisses turn into bites, they hurt and leave a mark.
If this turns into a Twilight discussion, for the record I'm on Team Edward.

This post is for Wordless Wednesdays and if you want to link up or see some really beautiful photographs, visit Alicia at A Beautiful Mess.
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oh boy!


boy three is here!
we’re enjoying the most peaceful baby-moon with charlie and he’s currently snuggling his way right into this family full of boys.
birth story to follow…

16 Months

Lucas will be 17 months old next week and I just realized I completely missed recording his 16 month milestones. Oops!

Lucas is becoming very VERY communicative and demonstrative and the boy has no fear.

He motors up and down the stairs on his feet, with the help of the handrail, scribbles with a crayon with abandon, has roughly 40 words in his vocabulary, of which "no", "yes-y", "choo choo" and "let's go" are his favorites, he loves taking baths, climbing on furniture, reading books, hanging out at the park, eating apple sauce and is head over heels for this guy:this guy:and this guy, who overnight went from "Da Da" to "Daddy".I love watching Lucas with his Daddy. Theirs is a very special relationship. My feelings on the other two guys, I'll save for a later post.

Lucas is retaining so much it's scary! I blogged about our visit to the pumpkin patch last week, where Lucas saw his first scarecrow and five days later, while we were in the supermarket, he started pointing and yelling "crow, crow, crow" and I looked up to see there was a scarecrow decoration on top of one of the aisles. He had only ever heard me use the word once a dozen times, how did he recall that?

Also, recently I was singing the Do-Re-Mi song from The Sound of Music and Lucas emphatically said "stop", to which I replied, "oh, you don't like that song?", and he responded, "no". I asked him if there was something in particular that he wanted me to sing instead in complete denial that it could possibly just be my voice. He looked at me sort of puzzled and then said "moon". I started singing the moon song and he lit up like a Christmas tree. Stinker!

We are working on using sippy cups more, eating on our own without throwing our food on the floor or stabbing ourselves with a fork, independent play and having a regulated nap time. So far so good.... Next up will be the introduction of cow's milk, more crafts and concentration on letters and colors.

Our little guy is growing up right before our eyes and it's bittersweet to witness.

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I was too tired to blog last night, so here's an update on Lucas's surgery. I'm happy to report that surgery went well and no tears were shed at the hospital. He's pretty well back to himself today. For the first time (unlike the previous 3 surgeries), Lucas was not the first surgery of the day. So, instead of arriving at 6 AM, we arrived at 8:15, so we hit traffic on the Schuykill. He was the second in line for surgery, so we had to wait until the first surgery was over. They didn't actually take him back to surgery until about 10:30. That was the longest part of the day - entertaining a busy toddler for 1 1/2 hours. Right before surgery he was pretty out of it, thanks to the giggle juice, so he didn't really mind when they came to take him back.

We said our good-byes, checked in at the waiting room, and headed to the cafeteria for some grub. When we got to the cafeteria at 10:40, it had just closed at 10:30 to prepare for lunch. So, we waited until 11:00, got something to eat and then headed back up to recovery waiting. We promptly got an update from a nurse who reported that Dr. K was done with the first ear, and was starting the second. A half an hour later, we got called back to recovery. Because of how he woke up during the last surgery, we let him sleep for 2 hours, hoping he would wake up more pleasant than hysterical. It worked. He was a tiny bit cranky while the nurse removed his IV, but as soon as he got his sippy cup, he was a happy boy. AND he didn't vomit at all either. It was a much better recovery.

So, we headed home shortly thereafter. He didn't have to pee to be discharged like he did in June. He did, however, pee plenty on the way home. We wondered why he was so fussy near the end of our trip home, and when we got home, we figured out it was because he was wet to his knees. Although he certainly has the language ability to tell me things like that, he just doesn't. He's a boy.

He had an uneventful evening at home, and went to bed pretty easily. However, a few minutes after I put him to bed, he was calling for me at the door. He had scratched off some of his dermabond. I think it was itchy for him. It wasn't bleeding, so we put a bandaid on it and he went back to bed and he didn't touch it anymore. He spent a quiet day at home today, recovering with daddy. He got to have a bath tonight too! We don't have to technically follow-up with the surgeon, because his CI surgery will be our follow-up!

Here are some pictures from our day:

playing doctor

stamped by the surgeon and ready to go

bossing around Elmo & doctor bear

getting cozy before surgery, thanks to giggle juice

sleeping off the anesthesia

doctor bear got a hospital bracelet too!

Now it's time to start worrying thinking about CI surgery. Somehow I can't believe that we're going to go through it all again. I know it will be worth it though. We have an activation date: December 9! His first activation was January 9, so that will help me remember. It will be 1 year 11 months to the day. Thanks everyone for your prayers and well wishes. It meant a lot!

In Treatment - Update

I can't thank you enough for the support and words of wisdom on my In Treatment (click here to read the original post) post a couple of weeks ago.

I'm pretty much an open book when it comes to this blog, and as I've said before I use my writing as a way to get stuff off my chest, clear my head and share myself with my son and readers. I was a bit apprehensive about admitting that I need professional help and that I was going (back) to therapy.

Therapy has such a negative stigma associated with it and I was very nervous about the response I would receive by making such an admission, but I had no reason to be. Once again, the blog world and family and friends alike lifted me up instead of knocking me down and the outreach and positive response was overwhelming. Thank you! Thank you for supporting me and thank you for being so wonderful.

I've had my first appointment and it went really well. I'm looking forward to more and while I'm on this journey to happiness, clarity and understanding, here are just a few things that make me smile along the way:

Life is pretty good, after all.

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F-A-T - Update

This week is going to be Follow-Up Week on Letters For Lucas. I have poured my heart out and shared a lot recently and want to clarify and update you on a few posts.

Last month, I received more comments on my post F-A-T (click here to read the original post) than I have on any other post. To all of you that read, commented and could relate, thank you. I love receiving comments and always appreciate what my readers have to say (on and off line) and particularly enjoy learning something new from your perspective. I wish I had more time to engage in an open dialogue with each and every one of you.

I knew that I would be touching a nerve with many of you in this post because
weight is such a difficult, frustrating and lifetime issue for so many of us. It is also a very hard topic to discuss because it is a very personal matter. What works for one person, may not work for another and we all have reasons for why we are over or under weight, obsess about exercising or drown our sorrows in food. Many of these reasons come from our childhood and our role models. In my case, my mother.

I have never talked about my mother's weight with anyone (a part from my sister, husband and a handful of very close friends) before.
I couldn't even talk to my own mother about it, so I had never really explored my own feelings about my body and weight until I wrote that post.

Before I pressed [publish], I read the post to Todd and he warned me that it might be a little "too brave". For the record, I rarely run my blog posts by my husband, but for some reason, I did this time. I don't want to be monitored here and I wasn't looking for his approval; this is my blog, my space and as I've stated before, I write for me and Lucas, however, I do feel a certain amount of responsibility and would rather not offend or piss off any of my readers.

With F-A-T, I sincerely hope that I did not come across insensitive to those of you that have or do struggle with your weight. I know that it is a real problem and that for many of you is a daily source of aggravation.

I also didn't mean to offend anyone by touting that I have never been on a diet. Trust me when I say that I would be bigger than a house if I didn't exercise. My conscience choice to exercise (and love of exercise) along with
using my mother as an example of what not to do were the two main reasons for my post.

Please keep reading, commenting and letting me know how you feel.
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Comission work to Jose Zepeda

pumpkin fun

hay tunnels...

digging corn...


pumpkin pickin'...

pumpkin posing....

pumpkin painting...

CI pumpkin...

barrel riding...



pumpkin fun 2010!