"when all your desires are distilled; you will cast just two votes: to love more, and be happy" -hafiz

Category Archives: update


So I know I have basically given up on writing updates about Hafiz here, but considering that he turned 2 this month I figured it was about time I shift my focus back to him AKA the reason I created this space in the first place.

It is 8:15AM on Thanksgiving Day, 2015 and my little man – the center of my universe – is still asleep, so I might as well write something about him at age 2.

Throwback to the categories I used to use for his monthly updates:

Sleep. He sleeps so freaking well (knock on wood) that it makes me cringe to think about dealing with a newborn come this Spring. He’s asleep by 7:30/8 and awake by 7ish. Today is an anomaly since we kept him up late last nigiht. When he’s sick he will wake up once in the night due to his snot situation or coughing and say “Mama and Papa’s bed” and will come lay with us for a bit, but then he asks to go back to his room. If he doesn’t ask I’ll say “Josh misses you and wants you back in bed!” which works every time. (Josh is his giraffe lovey)

Food. You still eat everything, but not huge amounts. And you have very clear preferences now, slightly less open-minded than your 1 year old self. You eat whatever we eat. Sometimes we just need to put yogurt on it to trick you into eating it, though. You freaking love pizza and fries. We actually can’t order fries at restaurants because then you will only eat that. We make our own pizza about once a week and the smile on your face when we say you’re getting pizza is ridiculous.

Mobility. You have been working on your jump for a long time now and you have it DOWN, two feet off the ground at the same time and everything. Unfortunately you enjoy practicing your jumping skills everywhere, all the time. Like on the couch. And my bed. And in our tent when camping at 1AM.

Teeth. I don’t think you’ve gotten those 2 year molars people talk about? But you have the first molars and all other teeth. They are so damn cute. You’ve gotten way better at teeth brushing and let me do it without any drama. You need “Hafiz’s turn” first for about 5 minutes but then you accept that it’s “Mama’s turn” – I ask if you want to stand up for Mama’s turn or lay in my lap which makes you feel like you get some voice on the issue.

Height/Weight: You weight 25 lbs and are 31.5 inches tall. I think at one year you were 20 lbs and 28.5 inches, so makes sense that you are below the 5th percentile for height, little peanut. Your weight is 25th percentile though. Not that percentiles mean anything but, semi-interesting nonetheless.

Cloth diapers/Potty: We are still doing cloth diapers and when we commit to being inside all day with plenty of pants-free time, you will pee on the potty easily. You go loooong periods of time with dry diapers so whenever I notice it’s dry we sit you on the potty and you go. However, so far you refuse to poop on the potty and we are a little confused about how to proceed with potty training from here. I know we need to just go “all in” and ditch diapers but I’m not mentally prepared for it yet! I figure we have until April…

Baby sign language/Talking: Even though you are full blown talking so many words I can’t keep up with and putting sentences together, it’s cute that some sign language still remains. When you say please or that you want something you still emphatically hit your chest with one or two hands. You gesture up when you want me to pick you up (and say “GET UP PLEASE!!”) and use the sign for “fork” – that we invented – when eating. But otherwise you talk up a storm. Yesterday this ceramic lizard broke in our house and Hafiz goes “Papa needs to glue it” – I was like umm when has this kid every glued something?!! He is constantly narrating everything he hears, “Police car coming!” “Doggy barking!” “Mailman here.” etc. I love that when he wakes up in the morning I can bring him to our bed and have legitimate conversations with him about the shadows on the ceiling, our eye color, going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, etc. A few days ago my mom called to tell me that Pokey got hit by a car, and I was really upset. I explained what happened to Hafiz and then a few hours later Hafiz seemed sad. I asked what was wrong and he said “Pokey has a boo-boo, hit by a car” – he head really been thinking and worrying about her that whole time.

As for me: 18.5 weeks pregnant. Feeling pretty good overall. Can’t complain. Need to go get ready to eat all the Thanksgiving food. xoxo




OF COURSE, his 13 month birthday was the first one that passed without me noticing. I think that’s how it goes though. The months will now start to blend together more and more, and instead of saying he is “x months” old I will usually just say “he’s one!” or in a few months “one and half!” unless it’s someone else with a baby around that age and i know the are expecting specificity. so, to be exact, he’s now about 13.5 months old. i’m not doing monthly updates anymore, nor am i taking the #weeklyhafiz pics (sniff sniff, i might whip out the blanket and stuffed animal at 18 months and 2 years though) but  i did want to give a very quick update on lil feezy.

-he walks on his knees constantly, side-stepping like a crab. it’s hilarious.

-he loves smoked salmon. i hope the avoid-excess-salt advice only applies to under age 1. he’s also obsessed with citrus and really all fruit.

-he is in full on toddler mode when it comes to wanting to assert his independence. he has recently started insisting on using a fork (an adult fork only) to eat at dinner. i help him stab food and then he feeds himself with the biggest smile ever. this same “i can do it myself” attitude is present during toothbrushing, drinking water (he can actually drink from a normal cup really well – spills water on himself maybe 20% of the time), etc.

-suddenly obsessed with books. he’s like a little dictator, just holds a book out to you and yells until you read it to him.

-sleep… isn’t the best. and with our trip to mexico this friday i am only expect things to deteriorate from here. i plan to deal with it being rough until mid-january when i’ll host an intervention because WE’LL BE IN OUR HOUSE!!!!!! (KNOCK ON WOOD)

that’s all for now..need to get to bed ASAP.

OHHH Hafiz, Hafiz, Hafiz!! This update is coming a bit late because the last month has been a particularly crazy-busy one, but I can’t drop the ball now as we are just weeks away from you being ONE year old! GAHHH!!

You become increasingly fun and bursting with more personality every day. Sometimes I get home from school and feel like you suddenly seem WAY older than the day before. It’s also way more chill to be around you all day, during those rare weekends that you and I just get to hang out the entire time. You are happy to come on errands, go out to lunch or dinner, chill in the carseat, be pushed in the stroller, or just crawl around the house destroying everything in your path. If the house was more childproofed then we would have no issues, because you rarely get in those really needy, hold-me-constantly type moods. Only in the evening when you are tired, really. Or random teething days, which very likely includes today 🙂 But otherwise, you’d rather be Mr. Independent — crawling, climbing and cruising around. However, that isn’t to say you like to be alone. NO. You want us around, like in the same room or in the next room over where you know you can pop in and see us. Your father especially would love to be able to leave you safely in your room alone for a bit but right now? Hell no. You will cry and scream bloody murder. Really hoping we can work on this, even just 5-10 minutes of you  being alone would be nice.

Okay, let’s get an update on you.

Sleep. You still wake up freakishly early. Like, 5:30am is sleeping in. And there have been some random nights here and there where you’ll wake up in the middle of the night. I let you cry a bit and wait and see what happens. Often you’ll go back to sleep but, for instance, last night you were freaking out so I had to go in. Can’t figure out what it is (didn’t eat enough yesterday? teething? who knows) but I’m not stressing about these random wakeful nights as long as they don’t become our new normal. Naps are still awesome, and essential since you don’t get quite enough night sleep with your early wake time. I have been keeping you up later and later because I just love to see you when I get home from work. While you once went down between 6:30 and 7 is now more like 7:30.

FOOD. You will never say no to food. I am afraid of you becoming a future competitive eater. We need to cut you off. I didn’t anticipate needing to buy significantly more groceries for you but we really do. All of your food allergies seem to have chilled out and you eat a bit of egg each day with no hives (PHEW!) but avocado now gives you a face rash. If we were in Mexico I’d be super mad about this, but since avocados are expensive here and taste awful, it’s no big deal. I hope you grow out of it though. You are nursing/taking bottles way more than I feel that an almost-one-year-old should. But the fact that you are eating a ton AND drinking bottles or nursing makes me hesitant to cut back. I don’t understanding weaning at all and should probably create a plan. It’s hard to have it be baby-led when I’m pumping 3x a day. Actually I’m mostly at 2x a day now because of my crazy school schedule.

Mobility. I don’t see you walking very soon, but you did get two walkers last weekend (both as hand-me-downs from friends) and will walk around with those and look flippin’ adorable. You prefer crawling for sure though, as you have become a speed demon. And you still love climbing everything.

Teeth. I made a mistake when I said last month that you had 3 teeth on the bottom – that was a typo – so last month you actually had 3 on top, 2 on bottom and now it’s 4 on top and still just 2 on bottom. So 6 in all. And the top front teeth keep coming out more and more and making your smile look more grown up. You love biting us. Not cool. Fortunately it’s rarely while nursing – my nipples haven’t been attacked yet – but you will full on bite my toe, leg, shoulder, etc and it HURTS. I usually yell “no” in pain and then you cry. :/

Weight. 20 lbs!!! All this food and my milk supply going up has made a huge difference!

Cloth diapers. Same as before. Going well but I really can’t deal with the poop situation. I bought liners but they irritated your butt. I’m grateful your father deals with most of these icky situations.

Baby sign language. YOU ARE FINALLY SIGNING!!! It’s not consistent but you are definitely doing the sign for milk and light. And sometimes waving bye. And I think the sign for “change” (when we change your diaper) but I can’t be sure of that one, might be my imagination/coincidence. You still refuse to do “food” or “more” which is ironic because those are the ones we do most frequently AND you clearly have a huge interest in both of those things. But you are stubborn and insist that banging on the table means “more” – and will prob continue doing that since, of course, it works for ya.

Talking. You are sorta starting to repeat sounds we say once in awhile, and saying stuff that occasionally sounds like words, but really it’s just babble. You are loud though and clearly trying to communicate. It’s the best 🙂

As for me. Overwhelmed by work. Missing you a lot. Appreciating every second with you. Dreaming a lot about a future time when things will be more relaxed, yet also trying to enjoy the present as I realize how fleeting each moment is with you. Super emotional about you turning one. CAN’T DEAL WITH IT. We are trying to move into the new house for your birthday and it’s overly ambitious. We’ll see what happens.






Pictures from Iliza’s wedding which was on September 6th, a week before you turned 10 months! 

HAFIZ! You are 10 months old. I can’t handle how fast time is going. Since I’ve gone back to work it’s definitely going even faster which is so not cool. I am still a little sick and way too busy right now so I’m gonna make this fast.

Sleep. Has been pretty good. Ever since we cried it out last month you sleep through the night, but often you wake up disturbingly early and I never quite know how to deal with it since I like to wake you up uncomfortable early anyway. Like, You will wake up at 4:45 but I wake you up at 5:30 so it seems ridiculous to let you cry from 4:45 all the way to possibly 5:30, ya know? Sometimes you will sleep all the way until 5:30 or even 6AM without waking up. 6AM makes me sad though because then I don’t get to see you – I just nurse you and run out the door. At least with your early wake-ups I nurse you, dress you and we eat breakfast together (sharing a flaxseed-capomo-pumpkin muffin and goat milk yogurt ) before I leave.

Nom nom nom. Boy, you are an EATER. Everything I read about Baby Led Weaning said that you should just let a baby feed themselves to their heart’s content but I’ve found I really do need to cut you off because otherwise you will out-eat me, easily. One time this month you actually threw up for the first time, probably from eating too much (and then getting in your car seat for an hour, my fault there). You are obsessed with cherry tomatoes from Grandma’s garden, spicy foods, warm foods and crunchy textures. My supply is back up now thanks to a hospital-grade pump that I’m borrowing from my neighbor, so you are getting plenty of milk, 5 nursings/bottles a day.

Crawling/walking. You aren’t walking, but are definitely getting better and better at standing up and then going hands free for a bit. I don’t worry about you falling now since you safely get to your butt every time.  You crawl so fast and are obsessed with climbing everything. I had to move some furniture in your room because you were close to scaling the side of your bookshelf which would be undoubtedly dangerous. I love this crawling stage as it is just freakishly adorable. But when you walk you will look like a little person and my heart will explode, I’m sure.

Teeth. You have 5! 2 top, 3 bottom, and possibly almost 6 as I keep thinking I see another bursting through.

Weight. At 9.5 months, you were only 17 lbs. I feel like from 10 months on you will gain more though because now you are getting a bit more milk with my supply being up and eating crazy amounts of food.

Cloth diapers. Still loving them, probably since I’m not the one having to deal with your 2-3 solid disgusting poops/day. Gross. Hus has fun with these, haha. You always leave one for me in the evening though. THANKS.

Baby sign language. Accepting that you’ll probably never sign back, but thats okay! I have a feeling you’ll be a late talker so the signs might come in handy later when you really want to communicate but don’t have the words yet. You communicate your needs really well w/o sign language these days.

Likes. Climbing up and down the stairs over and over and over and over again, taking every clothing item out of my drawers or his clothing boxes, peek-a-boo, going down the big slide at the park (ON HIS OWN… hus did this with him, not me, I could never) and then climbing up it, eating anything and everything in excess, strangers (finally he is becoming more social w/ new faces). Car trips that are under 3 hours.

Dislikes. Diaper changes. Napping with me, recently. He naps great for Husein all week but when I’m home on the weekends I follow the exact same schedule and he SCREAMS. So we know it’s me. He’s actually screaming right now. Awesome! LONG road trips, he gets pissed. Sometimes he’ll arch his back and scream when we’re putting him in the stroller now, but we just force him in and as soon as we’re moving he chills out.

As for me. Doing a little better with work/life balance for sure. Still not going to claim that this schedule is sustainable at all but I did leave early on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (so 3:15PM) this week and it felt sooo nice. On those days, it was the perfect amount of quality time with Hafiz before his bedtime. This makes me realize that if I taught at a normal school where the kids are there 8-2:30 or 9-3:30 or whatever, I would be totally happy now. Too bad I teach at the most intense school ever. Husein and I have been thinking a lot about what we really need to be happy in terms of daily schedules/routines, time with family, doing meaningful work and also earning $$$. We both really miss traveling and loved how easy it was when we were living abroad, and we also want Hafiz to grow up experiencing many different kinds of people, languages and cultures. At the same time, I don’t want him to feel like he’s constantly being uprooted. Both Hus and I know what our ideal situation would be: half the year abroad, half the year in the US. A few families that we taught in Sayulita did this. For instance, Nov-Apr in Mexico and the rest of the year back in California or whatever. I don’t know what the hell kinds of jobs these people had (online stuff? they were clearly well off as you pretty much have to be!)  but it was a pretty bad-ass situation. As a teacher, I hated it because it meant students either coming late or leaving early in the school year, but the kids themselves were obviously thriving.

Just something I’m thinking about today!

Oh, and this beautiful post about babies and self-soothing:


Alright, it’s Saturday and I have laundry to do and a baby to love.




so many reasons!

-my best friend’s daughter, Willa, turns 2! It’s amazing to have watched her grow from a little snuggly newborn into the bursting-with-personality 2 year old she is today.

-it’s the Super Bowl, and since I couldn’t care less, I plan to go somewhere that is usually crowded and relish in the emptiness this evening. Target? Grocery store? I know, I lead an exciting life.

-Hafiz slept crazily well last night without the trauma of his last long sleep. 8:30pm-7:30am — and then, probably since he got so much milk from my engorged boobs at 7:30, he didn’t eat again until 12:30pm. He took a 3.5 hr nap in between there, hence the not eating for 5 hrs.

-While he napped I did yoga and made lactation cookies. Let’s hope my theory of lactation cookies = longer stretches between feedings is true. I’ll let you know.

-Tomorrow Hafiz gets his super belated 2 month vaccines 😦 so today is awesome because it’s not tomorrow. Not looking forward to it. We are going to skip yoga tomorrow since I’m not sure what state he will be in after the shots. Also not looking forward to no yoga. Booo.

– My friend Ashley bought me a plane ticket to come see her in San Francisco in March!!!! It’s for her birthday, and as her present she asked her husband to buy my ticket. So Hafiz and I will go, and Hus will fly stand-by to meet us there. Hafiz’s first trip to the Bay!!!

-It’s warm outside! My dad told me it’s going to snow tomorrow, yet today feels like Spring. We took a long family walk to soak it up. Pokey refused to come, because even though it’s warm to us, it’s still not warm enough for a chihuahua.

-And now Hus has the baby so I am going to take a shower. I love showers. Speaking of showers, I’m worried about California’s drought and water shortage situation. My Bay area friends said it’s raining today, which I hope is a good sign.

much love


I woke up at 6:30am this morning in a panic, boobs leaking and aching.

Why had Hafiz not woken me up at 4 or 5am to eat?!?

Standing at his door, I couldn’t hear his usual heavy breathing. At this point my heart was racing.

So I burst I into his room and poked him. Startled, he gasped.

He was fine. Of course. His mom on the other hand…

Anyway, I went back to sleep and woke up to his little sounds at 7:30am. He was just lying there looking around. Not even crying.

He slept straight from 8:30pm-7:30am. And I think I know why, but would never do it again. Let me explain.

You see, last night after dinner, I wanted to go scan the illustrations for my book and start laying out the pages on Photoshop. So I attempted to make a bottle using some of my frozen breastmilk for Husein to give Hafiz. But things kept gong wrong. Milk was somehow leaking from the bottle into the warm water. So I needed another bag of milk which would stubbornly not melt. The bottle was still leaking (it’s one of those funky adiri boob-shaped ones) and at this point hafiz was shrieking with hunger and exhaustion.

I should have just stayed home and nursed him, as he was clearly agitated and it’s really best to give a bottle when he is calm since it’s not as familiar and comforting as nursing. But I stubbornly wanted to accomplish what I had planned, so I haphazardly finished warming the bottle and left.

I was out for about an hour, and when I got back Hafiz was still crying – but even worse.

Apparently he drank about 5-6 oz and then spit up A LOT and just inconsolably cried. I have no idea if it was the milk, his overtiredness or what. Anyway I nursed him on one side, burping him every few minutes because I was worried about his belly, and eventually he calmed down, relaxed, and went to sleep.

For 11 hours straight.

I’m sure it was from the crying (usually our bedtime is tear free) and extra milk since he both took a bottle and nursed. Though there was a lot of spitting up so I can’t be sure how much he really got. I guess this is similar to dream feeding (waking baby up a few hours after they’ve gone to bed to give them more milk to stay asleep longer) but I’m still not going to ever re-create what happened last night. He sleeps well enough as is.

And then, oh god, this morning when I took off his PJs he had a little thread or hair wrapped so tight around his toe that it had cut the skin and his toe was all red! So maybe that contributed to his discomfort last night? Ugh I feel awful that he slept all night with his toe like that. I’m always worried about that happening too! My fears became reality!

Anyway, the little guy was all smiles this morning – after we saved his toe – so all’s well that ends well. Oh and at least we are all super well rested.


Not sure how that happened. I am excited for our trip to State College, where we always spend Christmas with my aunt, uncle and cousins. My little 2nd cousins will be there (that’s what you call the kids of your cousins, right?) Hailey and Clara! Hailey just turned 2 and Clara is 4 months. Last time I saw Clara over Thanksgiving I couldn’t believe how HUGE she was at only 3 months, but now it makes sense — BABIES GROW FAST YO!! Get this: Hafiz is already 10 POUNDS and 1 oz. That means he gained 2 lbs in 3 weeks, since his 2 week appointment where he was 8 lbs! I told you he was a little chubster! I love his double chin SO MUCH.

double chin

Feeling a little blah today. Not sure why. I took Poqueta to the vet to update her vaccinations because she’s coming on the plane with us to Missouri. So relieved that she is coming because I have trouble being apart from her.

I took Hafiz to his pediatrician yesterday because I thought both of us had thrush (his fussiness during eating, my shooting nipple pain, white on his gums) but apparently we don’t. Instead the pediatrician thinks he has reflux and wants me to stop eating dairy and start him on Zantac. I really really really don’t want him on medicine, so I’m trying the dairy elimination thing first. This is immensely hard for me because I eat the same foods every day and most of them are dairy: yogurt for breakfast, cheese and crackers for lunch, healthy usually dairy free dinner then ice cream for dessert. Today was day one of no dairy and it was hard, but it’s probably actually good to branch out with my food a bit. I get in serious ruts. In reality, I can handle everything besides the no ice cream thing. I eat this chocolate peanut butter gelato (Talenti brand, SO AMAZING) every night and I don’t want to stop! But for you Feez… I’ll do anything. I love you that much.

Oh my goodness, speaking of love. His smiles have been coming out full throttle.


Okay I didn’t really capture it there but I did get a video and there were many more undocumented ones. What made me really happy is that he was smiling a lot after eating today and looking relaxed and cheerful rather than fussy as he has been. I don’t know if it’s possible for this dairy elimination to be working already (?) or if it’s sheer coincidence. We’ll see how things go from here on out. My nipples also feel better. Who knows what was happening there.

Super psyched for this weekend. Tomorrow we get a visit from our friend from California, Eddie, for lunch and then hang with Emily’s family at night. Then Sunday we’ll see Kari and Josh and all head over to our friend Ben’s jewish christmas caroling party that evening. Oh, and Monday morning I have my 6 week postpartum appointment with the midwife that delivered Hafiz! Need to remember to bring her a little gift! Also, I have some serious questions for her regarding what is happening down there…

And on that note, I am going to go eat a really delicious smelling dinner (salmon and polenta). Then I’ll watch Girls which I’ve been catching up on and am enjoying. My whole family finds it really disturbing but I think it’s hilarious and weirdly true to life, reminding me of my days as a 20 year old in NYC. I mean clearly the characters and events are exaggerated but they are capturing a part of the reality with that demographic there.

One more cute pic and I’m out:


He can be a bit of a tough cookie sometimes.