Adventures in Sitting

Miss Cordelia has a new skill!
She's still working out the details.

T-Ball Game and City Living

This weekend we went to go see Lenny play in his T-Ball game. We've been meaning to go all season, but between the multiple trips to southern CA, rainy weather, and other random stuff, this is the first game we got to see.

It was super fun to see a bunch of slightly uncoordinated 5 and 6 year olds playing baseball.

As we transition from being a married couple to a family, it's so fun to see all of the different sides of the community open up. Living in a big city can be isolating and our age group in the bay area can be quite transient, so today was a wonderful reminder that there are people who stick around and raise their kids here.

Sometimes it's hard living in a place where people only stay for a season. It is a constant challenge to resist the urge to not invest in someone because you know they might be moving in the next year or so. But living life with that kind of trepidation won't serve us (or anyone!) well in the long run. I'm choosing to be thankful for the people that I can connect with that are in my life right now instead of focusing on who will be leaving and when. Because although I know that people will come and go, I don't know who will decide to stay.

Martin peeking in on the game

 It might not be the suburbs that we grew up in where neighbors know each other by name and intend to live there indefinitely, but we can intentionally seek out community for ourselves and for Cora through getting to know our neighbors, through church, and eventually school and other activities. I love this city by the bay and I'm excited to grow more connected to the community as a result of Cora. I'm just learning that it has to be an act of intentionality, not of convenience, and that's fine by me.

Lenny dancing with "Princess Droolie"

It's worth it.

Beach Day!

This past weekend was an absolutely beautiful day in the Bay Area! We were already headed into the city for a Xander's First birthday party, so we decided to pack a few extra things and take a day trip to the beach. It turned out to be a really fun and memorable day. Sharing firsts with Cora is the absolute greatest.

Everyone else shared our brilliant idea of going to Baker Beach, a fun beach that has an awesome view of the Golden Gate Bridge, so we eventually ended up at Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach is massive, it reminds me of Zuma in southern CA, and on warm days in the city, it (and every other beach) is packed to the brim with city-folk.
People watching.

We were lucky enough to come across a spot rather quickly, but only after driving around the city for 2 hours in search of baby-friendly, chemical-free sunscreen. No joke. Honestly, I would have settled for just some baby-friendly sunscreen after about an hour, but everyone was out of that also. Ah, the joys of city living.

We eventually headed down to the (ridiculously cold) water so that Cora could get her first taste of the ocean. The water was super cold, but Cora didn't even flinch. Meanwhile, I was whining and pretty sure my feet were going to fall off. It seems that our child has taken after her hearty father in more ways than just looks. 

Once the sand was on her hands, it was only a matter of time before it got on her face and in her mouth. So, Cora literally had her first taste of the ocean. She was a fan. 
We geared up for some Bay Bridge traffic, grabbed some Starbucks, and headed home to the our city by the bay totally satisfied with our day. Life is so amazing when there's a little person around. It's been so fun trying to see these things through her eyes. 

Cora's First Dodger Game

We were back down in southern California again this past weekend for my Grandpa Wilber's memorial. One bright moment of this weekend? Cora got to meet her Uncle Scott and Aunt Coco for the first time!

With grandpa's burial on Friday and memorial on Saturday, our family wanted to go to a Dodger game and eat a Dodger Dog in his honor. I honestly believe he wouldn't have had it any other way.

It was really rainy and cold all day Friday, but we were determined to go and to sneak a sign in honoring grandpa. We drove down to the game in two cars, and Stu, Cora, and I had to stop off at Michelle's to get some Dodger gear for the game. Cora has a Dodger shirt. Her parents? Well, that's a different story.

Funny story: When we were almost to the stadium my dad called to let me know that the tickets he bought were actually for Saturday, not Friday...oops! My mom also totally got caught with the sign, but Coco was successful.

My dad quickly scalped some killer seats, and we sat freezing our butts off, eating Dodger Dogs, telling stories of grandpa, and watching the Dodgers win. It was a wonderful way to remember. We were laughing, telling stories, and remembering. Most importantly, we were together.
Bundled up, Scott in Grandpa's jersey, Contraband sign

Dodgers Win!, 7th Inning stretch, What Up?, Awesome seats, Cora and Grandpa

Cora's First Easter

Easter is easily one of my favorite holidays. I love the liturgical lead up to it, the self-reflection of lent, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and then Easter. Holy Week services help to prepare my heart as I attempt to grasp the depth of God's love for us, the tremendous sacrifice that Jesus paid on the cross, the betrayal, the crucifixion, the darkness, the burial, and the everlasting redemption. Amen.

Figuring out church and holidays is different with an infant. Last year, I looked forward to the Holy Week services as a way to prepare my heart for Easter. This year, it was a challenge to make it to church and a disciplined effort to pay attention while sitting in the foyer with Cora. It certainly would have been less complicated to stay home for Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday, but these are things that I want Cora to grow up knowing and experiencing, so we made it a priority. Perhaps next year we'll make it to the Tenebrae service. I was sad to have missed that service this year; I find it difficult to truly appreciate the joy of Easter without the darkness of Good Friday.

Easter morning was rushed, and we made it to church about 20 minutes late. Oops! Oh well. It was wonderful to revel in Jesus' amazing sacrifice for us and to celebrate grace and redemption. First Pres (our church) does the Hallelujah chorus every year and it's so beautiful! Cora did well and looked so cute in her Easter dress.
Pardon the blurry picture.

After church we headed to brunch and an Easter egg hunt at the Gustavsons. It's so fun to have a family around to celebrate holidays with since our families aren't local. The Gustavsons have truly become our Bay Area family here, and we love spending time with them and watching their boys grow. Lenny was sure to share his treats with baby Cora.
Easter Egg hunt!

After brunch we came home and got some obligatory Easter pictures. 

We went a little crazy. 

Cora was clearly very interested in her eating her basket! We wrapped up the day with a wonderful dinner with the Lincolns. The day was a beautiful way to celebrate God's amazing love for us.

4 Month Checkup

At 4 months, Cora is 27.5 inches long, and weighs in at 15lbs, 13oz. She's crazy, off the charts, long! 99th percentile for height, and 90th percentile for weight. I'm not sure how much stock I put in these measurements now though, they seem to be an inexact science. 

I had Stu come with me today for backup because Cora was due for her second round of shots. She only cried for a moment and pretty much slept the rest of the day. What a champion baby! 

Saying Goodbye

This weekend we drove home to Camarillo to say goodbye to my Grandpa Wilber. While it was really hard to say goodbye, I'm thankful we had the chance. He died on April 4th, 2012.
Cora meets her Great Grandparents (Christmas 2011)

In many ways the grandpa I knew had been gone for a while. As Parkinsons took over his body, and a few strokes made it difficult to communicate, his quality of life had deteriorated. For the past few years now each holiday with grandpa could have been our last, but I knew that it was serious when my mom called a couple Sundays ago and asked us to come say goodbye.

Seeing him was hard. There was a mass in his brain that was making it hard for him to swallow much less communicate, so we sat with him. I told Cora stories about how wonderful he was.

I told him that we would always tell Cora about what a patient, tenacious, joyful man her great-grandpa was. How he took every downturn of his sickness with faith and peace.

I told Stu and Cora about our last trip to Tahoe together as a family, before grandpa's Parkinsons got really bad, and how we all went parasailing together while grandma stood on the dock terrified, refusing to watch. I'm pretty sure that was his favorite way to see the lake. I told them about how despite my many, frequent tantrums growing up at his house, he never once yelled at me or raised his voice. I told them about our summers, meeting up every Thursday for "Grandma and Grandpa Day!" adventures. How we would play baseball in the field next to their house, sit at the beach all day, go out for ice cream, or play mini-golf at Golf-N-Stuff.

We made promises to play trac-ball in Lake Tahoe at Camp Richardson, to go camping in Yosemite, and to teach Cora to love the Dodgers despite growing up in northern California.
Wearing Dodger Blue in honor of Great-Grandpa. 4/4/12
We told him that we loved him and that his daughter, Janice, was waiting so impatiently for him to join her in heaven. And then we kissed him goodbye.

I love you grandpa. We'll see you soon.

4 Months

Dear Baby Girl,

It's hard to believe that you are 4 months old already. Of course I say that every month. How does time go so quickly with you?
Watch me grow! One, two, three, four!

This month with you has been tons of fun. You had plenty of visitors: Uncle Keith, Grandma and Grandpa, and Nana all came to Oakland to visit you. You had fun showing them all of your new skills, because this month you began to giggle at things which is so, so fun. You wake up so happy in the mornings and when you see Daddy or I you get the biggest smile, flap your arms, and squeal with delight. I have to say, it makes mornings really enjoyable.

This month, you are still a fabulous sleeper at night! I'm not quite sure what we did to deserve such a good sleeper, but I'll take it. This month you've decided that you want to lengthen your bedtime routine as much as possible though, so occasionally you will get up every 20-30 minutes for an hour or two until you are really asleep for the night. It makes it hard for Mommy and Daddy to have a conversation though! Naps are still erratic, but we're getting there! You consistently go back to sleep about an hour after you wake up for about 40 minutes, and down for another nap an hour after you wake up from your first nap for who knows how long. You take a couple of other naps throughout the day, and we're really lucky if we get a long one in there, but you generally nap between 40 minutes to 2 hours. 

This month, you found your hands and you are in love. You're always chomping on them and drooling all over. You also figured out how to roll from your tummy to your back and your back to your tummy. You mostly just like to show us that you are fully capable of doing it and stop immediately. You are perfectly content hanging out on your tummy for 15 minutes at a time and then you get cranky. You are getting so strong. You love standing in our laps and collapsing, and you just recently started grabbing for our food. Dinner times are about to get a lot more interesting! You also love giving kisses with a very wide open mouth. They are really slobbery, but pretty sweet.
How you spend most of your day, chomping on your fingers.

This month, you grew a mohawk and a mullet and they are so cute! Your hair is thinning out and growing back in lighter and more red. Your eyes are still a dark blue but they are lightening up a bit. You are solidly in 3-6 month clothes and just graduated to a size 3 diaper when we use throw-away diapers. You're still on your middle setting for your cloth diapers, and I think you will stay there for awhile. You still nurse like a champ and you are beginning to get more distracted when there are other things going on. 

This month, we drove down to southern California to say goodbye to Mommy's Grandpa. While it was hard to see him so very weak, I am so very happy that you got to meet him and I got a chance to say goodbye. Great-Grandpa Wilber is an amazing man, and I wish that you could remember knowing him, but he's struggled long enough. I hope that you will grow to be like him though. He is strong, tenacious, and stubborn. He is the most patient man I know, and he loves his family as fiercely as he loves the Dodgers and Lake Tahoe. We'll go camping in his honor this summer. 

This month is the first month that actually felt like a month with you. I have been trying to slow down and enjoy you when you want to snuggle and to remember on your clingy days that one day I will long for these sweet days again. We've been going to yoga together and that helps me focus on being present with you. There are hard days for sure, but even in the midst of a random crying fit, sometimes you will stop for a moment and smile at me then go back to crying.

Next month is going to be wonderful. I can't wait to see what new milestones you reach and how you will grow to be even more yourself. We will probably head back down to Camarillo at some point this next month for Great-Grandpa's funeral, and hopefully you will get to meet Uncle Scott and Aunt Coco. Let's try to keep it together in the car a bit better this time, deal? You are such a blessing, Cordelia Lynn, and I can't believe that we get to see you grow.