Goodbye.

As if my absence weren’t enough for you to assume that life over here is busy, I am here to officially fill you in on that horribly kept secret. I wish that I had the time to post everyday, let alone once a week, but I simply do not. I am beginning to work more and am focusing on how to become the form of success I envision for myself and for my family. Since moving back to LA, I have struggled with seeing my family enough as well as making time to see friends. Jacob and I have attempted to hire a babysitter for once a week, just so we can have alone time together (we really miss playing tennis), but have yet to cash in on her help yet. We don’t know for certain that LA is “home” forever, but it is for now and we’re trying so hard to allow ourselves to live in this moment. He and I tend to allow our minds to escape with fantasies of what can be, rather than living in what is. I’m not sure if it’s because since meeting one another, we have been going through a hard season and we want that season to be over. I think now, five years later, with an almost two year old we are approaching a season of chaos to soon be followed by calm or at the very least a routine. I am really looking forward to that. I know that Harlow Jude was and is God’s plan, and I have patiently (albeit a bit vocal about my resistance at times) allowed His path to take shape and even though I fought waiting until she was two, I knew that was when it would happen. I am so grateful for our time together, I wish we could afford to allow me to stay home until she goes to school. Harlow Jude has changed my life; she has defined my character, and tested every sense of my being. We are so lucky and we thank God for that everyday.

Harlow Jude tells me that she is a big girl, but that she is mom’s baby. She is a big girl; she knows her ABC’s by signing and sings them often. She knows all of her numbers, but struggles with 7. She knows her colors now. She is interested in signing so much, I have been looking into a class so I can keep learning to teach her. If she doesn’t know the sign for something she asks, and I want to take advantage of that interest. We’re up to about 200 signs now. French has taken a bit of a backseat, but I have just signed us up for a “Mommy et Moi” class to reintroduce it. We take a tour of the French private school in two weeks, fingers crossed we can afford it by then. She is eating everything, with olives being her favorite food and meat coming in cold stone last with not really liking it at all. Harlow Jude is funny, she laughs all of the time, she finds herself funny, but gets upset when Jacob jokes (his humor is a bit dry for me, let alone a 22-month old). She sings and dances to her favorite song “Shake It Off,” thank you Taylor Swift for the continual repeat. You can often find her sitting in a pile of books, trying to read. The bragging list could keep going, but I’ll leave it here; she is just wonderful and kind and polite.

With this post, I am going to say goodbye. Thank you to everyone who awaits these posts in their email inbox. I am going to be selfish now, and enjoy what has been the best time of our lives and keep those moments to us for awhile. Harlow Jude is just so much fun I want to be engulfed in her, because her wanting to be with me all of the time won’t last forever. This blog has allowed me to vent my fears and frustrations about becoming a mom, so thank you. I think we’re in a good rhythm now, and can’t wait to see where this new season takes our family.

Harlow Jude and I made Jacob X O cookies for Valentine’s Day.

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Harlow Jude had to come to work with me one day, she was a champ on location for 6 hours.

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In her pile of books.

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And with another book.

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Peter and Sara came to visit!

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That’s about right, Jacob attempting to climb anywhere he can.

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We ride the trolley a lot.

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Harlow Jude is obsessed with horses, she’s too scared to ride them. She said their noses are scary.

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She really loves all animals. She isn’t afraid to pet any of them.

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Twinsies.

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A little ’80’s throwback.

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A Blossom throwback.

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Modeling.

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O Christmas Tree.

Our tree stands approximately the same height as Harlow Jude. I was opposed to getting a tree (a grinch like stance was taken) while Jacob bombarded me with memory regret. Never heard of it? It goes like this.
“But Ver if we don’t get a tree, just think of those memories we’re going to miss out on.”
“This isn’t her last Christmas, she won’t even remember. She’s just going to touch it and knock everything down.”
“Yes, but, don’t you want to see her decorate the tree and get excited to see it lit up? Harlow Jude don’t you want to get a Christmas tree?”
Harlow Jude excitedly, says “uh-huh, tree.”
And so with our 1 1/2 year old being ridiculously cute, it was decided and Jacob had won.

He was right, they’re pretty good memories already.

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If you’ll note that Harlow Jude is clenching onto Pepper tight. She asked if Pepper could come see Santa with her.


Where Have We Been.

It may appear that by the lack of posts we have not been doing anything exciting, and therefore have nothing to post. In reality, we have been so busy separately and as a family. We are officially in LA (once again) and in all honesty it feels the most like home to us out of all the big crazy cities we’ve lived. We have had all of our aunties come visit with our cousins; we’ve had slumber parties with our cousin Savannah, auntie Mara and auntie Carrie. We have hosted dinner parties and game nights. We have visited museums, parks, Joshua Tree, the zoo and the biggest step of all, we have bought a car. I finally got my license and Jacob is on payback mode for the last 4 1/2 years having me behind the wheel at every opportunity. Jacob is on a steady contract at work with a 7-minute bike ride or a 6-minute car ride when we drop him off and pick him up (we just love him so much). I have been steadily working on photo shoots which you can see on my website if you’re so inclined. We are back at Ecclesia, the church we called home before we left on our cross-country tour. I have given into volunteering with the 2-3 year old class every week so Harlow Jude will stay. (Yes, she’s in the big kid class).

Onto Harlow Jude because that’s really why you’re here. She is the cutest thing in the entire world right now, truly just ridiculous. If any of you can come visit her, I highly recommend now. She is at such a fun age with 19-months lurking around the corner. She is signing so much and talking so much (English, don’t worry you’ll be able to understand her). She definitely knows what she wants and communicates it (literally). We read for hours on end, so we could use some new books if you have any recommendations. She copies and mimics a lot, she so desperately wants to be a big girl. Harlow Jude is definitely in the discovering mode and eager to share her discoveries. She prefers colored pencils and pens to crayons but prefers paint to them all. She gets easily bored, always onto the next exciting thing which I hope is not my fault. She is loud and gets excited like her mom, poor girl, definitely an extrovert.

With work being so busy I am in the process of looking at preschools, a heady task for any of you that know me and the amount of research that goes into any task I do. Needless to say, which is never the case with my babbling, we are having a wonderful time as a family, busy and wonderful.

Lunch with my cousins.

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Christmas lights at the LA Zoo for Uncle Mark’s birthday.

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Griffith Park.

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The flea market with Auntie Rashelle and Savannah.

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Visiting Auntie Rashelle’s church.

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Tasting Diddy Reise the best ice cream sandwiches ever with Erica and Tammy.

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Finding leaves to make sun prints after the rain.

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Swim School.

Harlow Jude recently began swim lessons, and man did she have a hard time. Harlow Jude loves the pool, but she loves the pool with mom and dad not a stranger. She was suncreened up, had her swim cap on and was ready to go in until I handed her off to her instructor, Aimee, who p.s. was incredible with her. Harlow Jude did cry the entire thirty minutes, but she also swam on her back, kicked her little feet, put her face in and began blowing bubbles. While her crying wasn’t ideal, it will get better I’m sure. We’re able to use the pool every single day they’re open, which is a huge perk and we utilized their salt water pools after the lesson to show Harlow Jude that swimming can be fun and she did have fun.

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Big Girl.

First off, I’m sorry for being away so long. Secondly, man there is so much to share. Lastly, I’ll spare the details as to why we haven’t been here in so long, and so onto Harlow Jude.

Harlow Jude has officially transitioned into her very own toddler bed. She has an odd fascination with pillows lately, so I thought it would be fun to let her pick out her own. I have officially found out what more sleep feels like, not a lot of sleep, but more and I’ll take it. She wakes up only twice now, a vast improvement from the atrocious number I’m too embarrassed to even share with you. All in all, a very successful investment.

She can’t be without pepper of course, she sleeps with her every single night and wakes up every single morning and says pepper and gives her a kiss.

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Harlow Jude wanted to go into Emerson’s crib and immediately attempted to climb out, proving not only that she could, but also that the bed was the way to go with her.

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Sleeplessness.

I’m lying in bed next to Harlow Jude, Jacob has already left for work, the weather can’t quite decide if it’s going to stay cool enough to pull a sheet over me or so bitterly hot just it has been everyday for too many days to count. The clock on my cell phone, because let’s be honest who has a real clock these days, lights up to tell me the stock market is about to open. So instead of going back to sleep, I watch the ticker of our stocks teeter high and low questioning if it’s time to sell, which I’m sure will carry my obsession all day until the market closes.

Harlow Jude hasn’t slept all night. And when I write all night, I mean has woken up every hour since midnight crying out “mama, mama.” I’ve allowed her to cry it out at times, I’ve given in and nursed her immediately, and I’ve been so annoyed by it I’ve said in a stern voice, “stop it, you’re fine,” and then given in and nursed her. As much as my desire for a good night sleep is at the forefront of my every day thought for the last 16 months (more like 19 because who can really sleep in their third trimester), the idea of lying through bloody murder shrills of her all night for a few nights on end because I won’t nurse her sound more miserable to me than not sleeping itself. While I lie here in my own making of miserableness (it’s a word, don’t worry), I can’t help but look over at her and A. resent the fact that she’ll wake up in 15 minutes and B. just find her absolutely adorable and look at her amazed that she’s actually mine. We did a good job.

And so, I’ll leave you not with the routine of what I’m sure will be an exhausting day (working out is most likely off the schedule, gallons off coffee will be consumed), I will leave you with Harlow Jude at her most adorable aka not in the middle of the night.

Maybe a few of her sleeping, with Pepper of course.

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Never too early to try on shoes.

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And wear my clothes dangled from her neck, and blow kisses goodbye to herself.

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Not really sure why she decided to lie down on the tile, but I decided to take a picture. Maybe because she doesn’t sleep at night.

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Harlow Jude and I squint and smile at one another all day every day for the last few months, it’s so funny and ugly, but I hope that we do it forever.

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Natural History Museum.

I am a frugal person, there are many ways to sugarcoat this or make it sound friendlier, but let’s just call a spade a spade shall we. I’m frugal. I also love love love museums, so much so that on every vacation we go on I attempt to find some museum or historical landmark. I’ve celebrated many birthdays going to museums and missions, dragging my reluctant family along using my big day as an excuse to go on these outings. I guess the best words to describe me are cheap and nerd. I’ve come to terms with this, you can too.

And so when Nicholl promised that she would make it up to visit, I had a long list of things we could do most of them free. We planned on a Tuesday when the Natural History Museum is free admission for the Mauga clan to visit. I met them at the train station and we rode the subway to the museum (the first train and subway ride for the kids, so so fun). Jacob and Harlow Jude met us at the museum.

It is so fun to see Harlow Jude with her cousins. She loves Levi so much, she’s been saying his name for months now, really practicing her L’s to the point where she says hello now. We had a lovely day, seeing bugs, dinosaurs, animals of every kind and real paleontologists hard at work (hello, Ross Gellar?) I told you, nerd.

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There was an exhibit that showed us how snakes see us, it was neat so we all got in on the action.

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The end of the day, everyone is exhausted.

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Hopefully we get another visit soon, and in the meantime we’ll be working on saying Brooklyn and Kaitlin.


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