Category Archives: Baby

Halloween 2018 :)

Happy Halloween! A few photos of our Diego-bear :)

A street a few blocks away shut down down for a Halloween block party. The whole neighborhood came out!

I was worried Diego would get scared of the costumes and haunted lawn displays. To my surprise, we had to tear him away from the fun-he was totally fine (I found the decorations pretty creepy).

I think his favorite part was the DJ.

Janou came over for trick-or-treating, and it was so nice to be together.

Diego made it to a grand total of TWO houses, so our bounty from the evening is 1 Tootsie Roll and 1 M&M bag.

Happy Halloween!

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Wrote this last week, during a real rough spell of Diego sleep. It’s been a bit better the last few days-we’ll see how tonight goes!-but saving this to remember how I really feel when sleep gets tough. Part of me doesn’t want a record, but at the same time, this is all part of life with a toddler and growing as a mother, and I kind of want to remember all of it? Anyway, here’s how I felt:

Almost a year ago, I took my first work trip. Diego was 6 months old, we were in the throws of a never-ending four month sleep regression (clearly, it went on for months), and I was equally anxious about being away and giddy at the thought of actually sleeping.

A sleeping, six month old Diego

At the time, I wrote an e-mail to myself saying I felt so tired, so unbelievably exhausted, I couldn’t even imagine how I could ever get enough sleep to feel normal again. I wondered, would I be a better mother if I wasn’t so tired? Would I be more present?

Snuggling at eight months

This morning, after a VERY difficult sleep night, trying not to cry, I turned to David and asked, “how are we still struggling?” A year later, sleep is still a challenge. I’ve been hesitant to write about our sleep struggles as I am incredibly aware how fortunate we are. Diego is a wonderful, healthy toddler, and writing about our sleep challenge feels like complaining, and I don’t want to complain. Yet, whenever I do write about a challenge, it helps me to get it out.

Napping with David, 11 months

I’ve realized, for me, the two biggest challenges of the overall sleep struggle:

1) The exhaustion. So, so tired.

2) The guilt.

The exhaustion is obvious, and difficult, but I’m almost equally plagued by the guilt. We live in a beautiful age of sleep books, articles, advice, and consultants. As an eager learner, I’ve soaked up so many of them. And they all share the same message: if your kid isn’t sleeping well, it’s your fault. It’s your fault your day isn’t perfectly regimented, it’s your fault you cave at 3:00 a.m. and cuddle that baby in bed, it’s your fault at the end of the day, after missing your baby, you just want to snuggle and giggle, instead of sailing through a 15 minute place-in-crib-and-leave routine.

And the sinker-the part that wakes me up in the middle of the night (when it’s not Diego) this line, in all the books: your baby needs a healthy, independent, full night of sleep. If he isn’t getting that, guess what? IT’S YOUR FAULT. You are not meeting his needs. If you just tried a little harder, if you just worked at it….

THAT’s the part that breaks me. And it’s not just the books. Friends and family, all well meaning, who’ve successfully implemented very healthy sleep habits, just can’t understand what is so hard about it. I want to scream: we’ve tried! The routines, the crying, the self soothing, the total soothing, the strict bedtime, the sleep when he’s tired, the sleep when he’s awake, we.have.tried. I’ve even listened to a Sleep Consultant podcast by-and this is a direct quote from the intro: “conservative, homeschooling parents to 6 in Iowa,”-practically praying their some wisdom would wear off on me. It didn’t. We’re still tired.

This summer has been particularly difficult. Basically, post-Hawaii (months and months ago), our previously decent sleep routine never recovered. Mercifully, earlier this month, Diego spent a week with my parents, and he returned a much better sleeper (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

Until this week. Ooof. We’ve had some rough nights.

Annnnd….that’s how I feel when I’m zonked out exhausted! The thing is, like everything in life, while I can’t control anyone else’s sleep, or how tired I am, I can control my attitude and how much I let it get to me. Trying to keep all this in perspective and remember how lucky the three of us are. And how grateful we are for our curious, active and hilarious little Diego :)

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It’s been a while!

We’re leaving for our summer vacation tomorrow-our first family vacation!—and I’m so excited and full of exclamation marks I can’t sleep. So, just taking a moment to jot down some spring memories.

Over the last month-ish, we….

Went on a date! David had a conference in SF that lined up perfectly with my parent’s visit = a trip to the city! It was really nice to enjoy a long dinner and relax a little, knowing Diego was happily playing with his grandparents.

Visited the zoo :) The last time this trio went to the zoo, they were all so tiny. This year:

Last year:

Celebrated Justice in Aging! The development team put on an awesome spring fundraiser and it was great to have all three offices together in SF.

Wine tasting :) Molly and John generously hosted us in Napa and it was SUCH a treat to be in a magical place with incredible company. Diego basically fell in love with Sutter and I felt so refreshed after a weekend soaking motherhood advice and stories with Molly and Kirstin  over delicious glasses of Malbec.

Visited Mom at work! We flew to Irvine for Morher’s Day and got to surprise my mom in her classroom. It was also Diego’s first time in a classroom :)

Hanging out around the neighborhood. Diego loved the musician at the Sunday Farmer’s market and scooted right to the front to dance. It’s been freezing in Oakland, but on the sunny, warmer days, we try to get the park after Daycare. On Tuesdays, the library is open later, and I love taking him to play and check out a week’s worth of books.

Sending good thoughts for the first summer weekend!

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Diego’s Mom

One of the best parts about the work week is having a general routine, and the BEST BEST part of a routine is looking forward to something each day. For me, I always look forward to 4:30 pm. I walk down a beautiful tree-lined street, with the lovely late afternoon sun sparkling through the tree leaves, and ring the doorbell of Diego’s daycare.

Diego practically crawls out the front door, into my arms, and it is the best. I look forward to that moment Sometimes, if I miss my BART train, or I’m grumpy or tired, I’m a bit more scattered. I fail to notice the sunlight, or brief, tiny, views of the Bay that peak out at the end of the street, looking west towards the water, as I walk to daycare.

Thankfully, if I’m running a little late, and racing to pickup, walking up to the front door, Diego’s “classmate” always helps me snap back to reality.

“DIEGO’s MOM!!” she always says, pointing at me. This always makes me pause, smile, and be more present. To this little person, this is my complete identity-Diego’s mom. Almost everyone else in my world knew me as someone else first-a wife, a daughter, sister, friend, colleague, etc.-and my “Diego’s mom” identity is a recent and welcome bonus.

But, as this sweet child reminds me, from here on out, to Diego and the people he’ll bring into my world, I’m first and foremost, Diego’s mom.

I read a lot about how, as a parent, it is important to remember who you were before parenthood. Advice abounds on focusing on those aspects of your identity, and taking caution to avoid getting completely swallowed up by this new role.

That makes sense.

But the thing is, I like being Diego’s mom. And, when I can, I thoroughly enjoy being completely consumed by his world. I’m realizing, that for me, the challenge is often the opposite. Making sure that I let myself completely pause, and sink into the role of being a mother, and try not to get too distracted by all the other demands. The late afternoons are my Diego-time, and I’m working on being more mentally and physically present in them. There’s the small, immediate distractions-dinner prep, the end-of-day clutter-and the larger, mental ones. I can get lost in mental questions, wondering, am I doing a good job balancing this whole work/life thing? Are we making good financial choices? When was the list time I called..ehhh…texted my friends? Does Diego know how clueless I am about parenting? Will we ever find a good storage solution for this tiny apartment?

And then I look up, and there’s Diego, scooting around the floor, taking every piece of Tupperware out of the pantry and throwing them down the hall. And I’m reminded to stop. Just stop. For now, in these few hours in the day, just be his mother. Focus on goofing around on the floor, watching him roll a basketball, and not worry if the only thing he’ll eat for dinner is goldfish. Just go with it. Be there, be present, because it’s ok for right now to just be Diego’s mom.

On Sunday, we were flying back from a weekend in Irvine. Diego was in the Ergo, and mid-flight, he looked up at me, grabbed my face, said, “mama,” and threw his arms around my neck.

It was….the best part of my day :)

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Diego’s birthday weekend! 

Hello! Happy Friday :) It is 2 in the afternoon, I’m cozy in my bed, it’s been raining on and off, and I have a lavender rosemary candle on. Today is my birthday! I took the day off from work and Diego is taking a nap (HOORAY!!). I’m relaxing and reflecting on last weekend.

Kirstin had the brilliant idea to write Diego a letter for his first birthday, so I got out all of my wild emotions in a letter to him Sunday night. Now, I’ll just jot down some of our happy memories celebrating our sweet baby’s first birthday!

Saturday morning, we had a party with David’s family. The whole week leading up to his birthday weekend, I was kind of an emotional mess. But when it came time to celebrate, suddenly the excitement took over, and I got in to the festive spirit. Silvia watched Diego in the morning while we ran a few errands to prep. As we drove around, just the two of us, I couldn’t help but think of the Saturday morning, a year ago. We went to brunch and walked along the reservoir, and it was the last day it was just the two of us. It felt sweet to be back in the car, just us, anticipating another special weekend.

Something about picking up his birthday cake, seeing the little hat, made me feel like, oh man, we are parents.

David’s family went all out and prepped an incredible tacquiza. It was delicious.

Diego even tried his first taco!!


Beyond the incredible food, I’m so grateful Silvia is such a talented photographer. I love looking back at these photos of Diego and his birthday cake:

He hesitated for a moment, and then he REALLY went for it. He was pretty bonkers for the afternoon, but watching his delight with the cake was totally worth it.

A little over a year ago, we gathered with the same family and friends to celebrate a baby shower, and anticipate what it would be like to meet this baby. It felt very special to be surrounded by everyone again, wrapping Diego in birthday love.

The sunset that night was amazing!!

The next day, after crepes at the Farmer’s market, the sun came out and it was too beautiful to be inside. We grabbed the stroller and took Diego on a birthday BART ride. I’m pretty sure no one has EVER been this happy on BART. He was elated! I think he liked being able to sit between both of us and watch the view. Usually, in the car, he’s either alone or stuck with me, and I think he genuinely enjoyed being together. Or maybe the train ride was just that exciting?

Anyway, we walked to the park near the Ferry Building and played there for a while.



The park near us doesn’t have bucket swings and he got a real kick out of these:

We celebrated his birthday eve with shakes and french fries at Gotts.

The next morning, Diego’s real birthday, started wayyyyy too early as it was the morning after Daylight Savings. We were all pretty sleepy, but snapped a quick photo before heading to daycare/work.


Glad we got these photos. When we came home and tried to take his year old photo, he was so wiggly and excited, he kept scooting off the couch! So, we popped open the champagne we had been saving to celebrate his first year, and took a photo of that instead :)


Cheers to Diego, to one year, and to all we have learned together! When I was in labor, to calm myself down, I kept telling myself, just think of all you have to look forward to. Someday you’re going to take this baby to the beach, someday this baby is going to see the ocean. I kept picturing a baby at Crystal Cove. Focusing on that hope and dream (sort of) centered me. Taking Diego to the beach has certainly been a highlight this year. But I had no idea how many other remarkable moments were in store. The thrill of seeing Diego at the ocean is matched by the way my heart soars in the morning, when I see Diego and David snuggled up in bed together. Or when I pick him up at daycare and he nearly lunges into my arms. Or when I watch him on the playground, observing other kids, trying to piece together how he fits in in this world, and figure out what they are doing. Learning more about who he is, and who he is becoming, is a thrill I never could have dreamed of. I’m so grateful for all of it, and incredibly thankful for this year and Diego.

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