Fairbanks 2 yrs


I just laid you down in your crib and before I did you let me sing you your lullaby in my arms..AND for the first time ever sang along! “I love you, I love you. I sing it to the sky. I love you, I love you as you look into my eyes…”. You knew the words. You’ve been listening.

It’s be over a month since you’ve turned two and honestly, word explosion! You chatter all day long.

Any word we say you repeat.

I feel like everything you do at this stage needs to be videotaped. The sound of your voice, your facial expressions, the way such smart, wise actions and words come out of such a small pot bellied body.

With the arrival of your baby brother in less than 2 months, I have been noticing all your little details even more.

Not like I didn’t before but I know it won’t be long until you aren’t the baby in the family. I have seen it happen before and the second that baby is born you turn into a kid.

I notice you looking for me if you ever need comfort (right after you grab your blanket and shark)

I notice the way you lay on my shoulder when I carry you and bury your face into my neck.

I notice when you ask for bear hugs or butterfly kisses when no one else is listening.

I notice how baby your hands and feet still look to me even though they can do so much.

I notice every detail of you and cherish this time of you being my youngest.

It’s amazing that as you have developed your vocabulary, you are able to express yourself emotionally now.

One of your most used phrases over the last couple of weeks have been, “I feel nervous about…..”. It started after an instacare visit on Oahu after you split the skin next to your eye. You were so brave and let me hold you and held SO still for the doctor as he put on your steri bandage..and then once we were home a day or so later while eating dinner you said, “I feel nervous about the doctors office”. I was so happy you knew the words to use to express to me how you were feeling. It was amazing to be able to acknowledge your feelings, validate you and see how much more you needed to process what had happened. We talked about it for days. “I help the doctor put on my bandaid”. “My eye owie”. It felt like an emotional breakthrough, although it wasn’t. I know even little babies can process how they feel but expressing it through words so I can participate is a game changer.

“I feel nervous about the ocean” when big waves are coming.

And the other night out of the blue, “I feel nervous about the new baby coming”. Of course he does! So do I, if I am being honest.

Thank you Bubs for letting me know the tricky emotions you feel.

We also decided to go to the zoo last minute while we were on Oahu and you have talked none stop about, “I saw the monkeys eating bananas at the zoo”. “I saw the monkeys swinging at the zoo”.

You have even been talking about the “Kumoto Dragon” we saw, that I was sure you weren’t even paying attention to.

You said your name for the first time while jumping on the bed in a diaper with a yellow superhero cape on as you yelled, “ Super Fai-ganks!!”. Your dad and I both heard and just turned wide eyed to each other. It was a rad moment.

You still sleep in your travel crib which I feel slightly guilty about except for that you nap everyday and sleep all night long.

You have started wanting to get into bed by yourself. You have been able to climb in and out for 6+ months now but just recently want to go to bed yourself. “Give me space mom”, you say as you start to close the door on me and my heart breaks a little.

I will pretend to give you space, but won’t ever..really. Just so you know upfront. J/K (kind of).

So, being the superheros we are, you breastfed until you were 2yrs old.

It was just in the mornings at the end and I actually put an end to it because it was time for me. Unless we were going to tandem BF once brother is here I wanted to give us both time to get use to not doing it before he takes over.

Oy oy oy. I have been pregnant or breastfeeding straight for the past 5+ years. Hormone cocktail anyone?

Truth is I love BFing and not because I am mother earth but because it is so dang convenient. And lets me be a tiny bit lazy. Always ready, no fuss, no prep.

I loved our snuggle time together. That changes a tiny bit once BFing stops. You still have to sit in the crook of my arm when I am reading you a book, but no more drawn out mornings in bed together. That is the magic of breastfeeding.

But you are growing up and I guess so am I.

You love to put the laundry into the washer for me.

You ride your scooter so amazingly well. It’s terrifying actually.

You love cars and trucks and motorcycles and will sit at the family room window and watch with delight.

You also love putting on one of sister dresses or costumes and twirling around. Who doesn’t!!?

You actually went through a dress stage recently when you demanded to always wear a dress and would change if you caught eye of one that was fancier or you wanted to wear more.

Can’t blame you when you have lived with a sister your whole life who will ONLY wear dresses.

You also love shoes. Trying them on, walking around in them, talking about them, looking for them. Maybe because it’s such a novelty here on the islands. But it’s pretty adorable none the less.

You are a pretty good eater but your mainstays right now seem to be anything with eggs, oatmeal and eating a whole apple. You also cry for chocolate on occasion.

Sometimes you act like you aren’t hungry but once I sit down and start eating you climb into my lap and proceed to eat all of my food. I have to race to get even one bite of granola and yogurt.

You have started to self potty train (just like your sister did). If you ask we take you. “I do it myself”, as you climb on, do bidness, get toilet paper, wipe, climb off, flush and wave bye bye. Big kids stuff if you ask me.

You love playing tickle games, chase and telling us to “go to sleep” and then while we pretend to sleep you yell to wake us up. You could play this forever. and ever and ever.

You are super into me. I can say that without being vain since I gave birth to you.

If I am talking to dad and sister and you want my undivided attention you will tell me, “no more talking to daddy mom. No more talking to sister.” Which you have been saying numerous times a day. Trust me I am a super good listener with my kids and you will say this even when you aren’t talking to me. You just like it better if I save the air time for you.

Lately you are sick of going to the beach (unbelievable) but beg to go on hikes, to the pool or “to town”...which on this island is code for Costco. I love when you ask to go to town. Like you know you live in the small town you do.

You have also started to boss us around when we drive, “Go that way”, always pointing towards Hanalei. Smart boy.

Generally I don’t really want anything to do with this growing up stuff but you are doing it with such grace and sensitivity and smarts that I’ve thrown my hands up. Go for it I guess.

Today at the park and farmers market you said, “How are you” to a little boy who didn’t even know how to answer. You said, “Good morning” to some passerbys. And you said, “Mahalo after leaving each stand we bought food at. How can I not be proud?? Your manners are outstanding.

You thank all of us constantly for getting you stuff, feeding you, helping you.

You have always been super thoughtful and sensitive to others.

I feel like you are especially in tune with me. And I with you.

It’s just this thing between a babe and his mom. We get each other.

When you say yes or yah to anything is sounds like, “wa”. Please please never stop saying it this way.

You are so so happy and your smile is so shiny. Your eyes squint up and light pours out of your face. It makes me kiss you over and over again. I am so in love with you and the presence you are in our home.

Happy two years my Bubby boy. My life is 100% better with you in it.

Love, Mom

1 Year

A month has passed since we celebrated your first birthday.

For your birthday we went camping for the first time as a family. Of course I wanted to throw a ginormous party for you but given the timing and a bunch of other factors we decided that something smaller would be better BUT I still wanted it to be special.

People ask all the time about your name and why we chose it. When they hear it some think of a wealthy trust fund baby which makes me smile because what I think of couldn’t be farther from that. You were named after my birth city of Fairbanks Alaska. When I think of your name I think of trees and wildlife and bears and berries and crisp clean air. I think of mountains and views and vistas. I think of my happy beginnings and the uniqueness of where my life started. Alaska has a magic untouched feel...“frontier” is a good word to describe it. Your father and I wanted to bless you with a name that would transport you to a mountain top with your arms outstretched welcoming all the adventure, beauty and happiness that life had waiting for you. Fairbanks makes us think of that. Camping for your 1st birthday seemed like the perfect fit!

I made you a s'mores cake with graham cracker cake, chocolate ganache frosting and fire toasted marshmallows on top.

We sang you happy birthday and kissed your squishy cheeks.

You loved playing in the tent and exploring the campsite.

Sleeping that night was another story, but luckily we had each other and I kept you warm and snacked ALL NIGHT LONG.

I loved reminiscing this past month about your first year and all the sweet moments I have had with you.

It has been easy to remember how close we have become given the fact that you are super attached to me right now.

Mama everything.

You walk around the house calling for me, reaching for me.

If you get hurt or fall or are hungry or are happy or just see me...you want me.

We walk cheek to cheek usually with your blue blankie trailing around with us.

You are talking so much more! You say Mama, Dada, Uh-oh, Bye, Hi and you make a barking sound for puppies.

You use your little finger to point to what you want.

You beg for us to pick you up and then we quickly find out we are being used for our height as you lean out from us to reach light switches, thermostat, mirrors, microwave, oven knobs, light fixtures. You want to touch it all.

You especially love opening and closing the microwave and play peek a boo with us on one side and you leaning around the other. I can see your squinty smile through the door and you can see mine.

It seems like you went from taking your first step to almost running in no time.

Love watching you walk around the house “doing stuff” in your diaper and amber necklace.

I love watching your little tummy and flat feet explore your domain….you will catch me watching you and will make the cutest, flirtiest faces at me..which usually end with your classic melt-me-in-a-puddle smiles.

All this walking and climbing has made for some rough falls. One day you fell off our bed, the planter box outside, AND you hit your head really hard on the rocking chair arm. It was a rough day for all of us.

Despite all the head bonks you remain bright and smart (phew).

You love singing with me and it’s my favorite when you put your hands on the side of your head at the end of singing “ball for baby”, during the peek a boo part.

You also are quite snuggly, you like wrestling and love a good snuggle kiss as we roll around on the ground kiss-growling. Hard to explain, have to be there.

Sometimes you just open mouth kiss me. I am 100% fine with that.

Eating is going well. We still BF on demand but you also love your oatmeal and fruit and...everything really.

You do prefer to eat like an adult though. Must have a utensil and plate and cup. I would prefer you to stay in the “hands eating phase” a little longer but you want to learn or something. I guess that’s suppose to happen.

You pretty much sleep through the night and have transitioned to one nap for 2-3hrs.

In the morning you come snuggle eat with me in bed and then you like to crawl all over me smiling with contentment like you are the king of me. Which, lets face it, you kind of are.

Your hair is golden and curly.

Your skin is getting a tan,

If you see a pair of your shoes you carry them to us, asking to put them on. You love shoes. Taking after your uncle Jared.

Sister is still your #1 fan and torturer. You two love laughing during tickle wars, fighting over who gets to sit in the rocking chair. She gives you a boost up on the couch whether you need it or not. She loves to zoom past you...just getting close enough to brush your shoulder and knock you down. She loves feeding you, helping you, dancing for you, singing to you. And when you are sad and she helps you feel better, you should see the look on her face. “Mom bubbies was sad, but I sang a song and he calmed down!”

She loves prepping your room before you go to bed. She will turn on your white noise and the fan and insists on having a night light on for you so you aren't scared.

If she even hears you breathe in your room in the morning or after nap time she BEGS for us to go get you. She can’t wait to see you and always wants you around.

We decided this last month to move to Kauai! I can’t wait to share that island with you.

I am sad to sell the house you were born in. I will always love this house deeply for holding that memory for me. Your birth was all bright and sunny and happy, just like you. Those huge windows in the family room almost made it seem like you were born outside, which is fitting.

You love being outside, playing at the park, digging in dirt, holding the hose. Being lifted up to see the doggies in the neighbors' yard.

The curls on the back of your head backlit by the late afternoon sun.

Still so in awe of you everyday. Of your existence. Your individuality. Your unconditional love.

I daydream most of the day and I love thinking up stories about you and the life you will grow into.

Sometimes I imagine you being in love (with someone other than me). Sometimes I imagine you working really hard to stand up on your surfboard and the look on your face once you do! Sometimes I imagine you in a new class at school feeling a little unsure but then someone sitting next to you smiles and some of the uneasiness melts away. Sometimes I imagine tucking you into bed at night and listening to you tell me about your day and your feelings and your dreams. I can hear your voice and the way your words sound.

And in every scenario I imagine, you are still looking at me with those eyes that melt icebergs. You are still smiling your bigger than the whole world smile and you and I are still immensely connected to each other.

I am not going to worry about missing the baby you..because for now you are who you are, reaching up to hold on to my hand and lead me around the house. For now you are the perfect age. My favorite age. And tomorrow will be my favorite age too.

Happy first year my bubby boy.




11 Months

Every morning when you wake, we bring you into me and we sleep-eat together.

Sister comes in and joins the fun...which usually includes lots of climbing all over a half asleep mom who just wants 5 more mins to keep her eyes closed.

Those curls! Also, sis really wants you to keep that crown on.

Our sweet pickle checking out the sun.

We had the sweetest conversation after she was a little sad when I tried to fix the blinds.

You love playing in sissy's room. With the kitchen, dollhouse...you two also do a lot of hugging, pulling, wrestling...

You walking around with that broom. Once you started walking we immediately started making you do chores.

You adore "helping" load or unload dishes.

You insist on having your own spoon while you eat so you can practice feeding yourself. Brilliant much?

Off to Disneyland with fake sleeping and lots of smiles.

This is when sister yells "WE'RE HERE!" Which happens about three minutes after we leave our house.

Double Bugaboo Donkey. Heaven.

We break a lot of rules..like taking our kids down the escalator strapped into their stroller. Shh. Don't tell.

Unimpressed waiting for another tram. Everyone was oohing and ahhing over you two.

We actually don't have shoes for you yet. Barefoot at Disney. Pretty adorable.

That face. 

You and Novs doing what you do. I love her picking you up..no matter what we say it happens 30, 000 times a day.

I love pineapple ice cream mom!

Love your Daddy but are always reaching for the one and only Mama.

Boy kissing boy..you trying to eat all my dole float.


You climbed up the bench almost throwing yourself over the fence to the ducks. Love all your hands lined up.

If you are reading this and frequent Disney and have never stopped by the Silhouette Studio, do it! So affordable and the artist cuts by hands, with scissors! I was so impressed. I am in love with these profiles.

Mom and Dad took turns riding the new Big Thunder Mountain and then we hit up the Tiki Room (which you two go nutz over)...a fun couple of hours and then heading home.

Leaving around lunchtime means run run running to the car with no one else around.

Tired bubbas fell asleep for naps in about three seconds.

A few hours later, groggy you awake and ready for a snack. You rarely wake up smiley. 

Outside time!! And if you haven't noticed yet Mom, Nova and Fairbanks all have 4 (yes thats right) 4 outfit changes throughout the course of the day. Dad only 2. Crazy but normal.

You love being outside. I love watching you be outside. Plus this photo kills me dead.

Checking out the neighbors puppies but got nervous and held on to Dad's neck. Cute.

Love snuggling and feeding you in the hammock. I felt so happy in these moments.

My boys. Heartthrobs.

Big thanks to your Dad for getting shots of me with you two. 

After-meal cleanup needs a hose.

You love water and you always beg for bath time.

For you and your sister from the time you are newborns, after bath time I snuggle you up in a towels and we watch ourselves in the mirror while I sing to you and we just hangout in love. It's probably my favorite time of the day.

Getting out all of our last bits of energy before bedtime. You like to wander around the house.

You and sis love jumping in your crib every night. Wild animals.

Stories, playtime in Nov's room. I rubbed lavender on both your tootsies and then bedtime.

We feed together with white noise and your fan and then once you're ready I snuggle you up in your bed. I feel so blessed to get to spend everyday caring for you and loving you like I do.

You are walking!!

You were taking a few steps at a time last month and standing for long stretches...but then March 16th after I had been gone for the weekend (shooting a wedding for Martha Stewart) you started and didn’t stop.

Your dad called me into Nova’s room and said you had just walked from the kitchen to her bed. We flipped on our phones to record video and you proceeded to walk the whole length of the room to me!! Bravo!!! It was so fun!

If you fall, you can stand up again and start walking without even holding on to anything!

I love it when my kids start walking, because leading up to that time, you want to so bad! It’s frustrating to not be able to move the way you want.

We have never practiced moving with our babies. Any physical progress you make is self-initiated. We just trust you to develop in the timeframe that feels best for you. Baby led growing. We never had “tummy time”...Just always made sense that you would roll onto your belly when you were ready.

I have always felt that clothes and shoes are a little pointless for babies...but now that you are walking I might need to protect your feet on occasion.

This month you have also started trying to put lids on things and fit things together.

We have these big lego blocks that you like to put together and then take apart.

You are eating eating eating. But you do like to feed yourself.

I bought these reusable squeezy pouches that have been heaven sent. We can fill them with all sorts of things, applesauce, yogurt, cream of wheat and you can feed yourself without having to be spoon fed.

You are also a green smoothie champ. Makes me tremendously happy to see you swallow down leafy greens.

You have also started sleeping longer and longer stretches through the night and now are pretty much sleeping through the entire night.

I know this should make me say “YIPPEE” but if I am being honest I always get a little sad when my babies start sleeping through the night. I know it’s twisted. Of course getting longer stretches of sleep makes me feel like a new woman but it is just another reminder of your first year ending and I am sappy and sentimental.

We still breastfeed on demand but I know that is changing because when I have been away from you and pump, the quantity is different. Just proof that you are getting lots of nutrients from other sources now.

Your dad and I went away to Palm Springs for two night to celebrate our 5yr wedding anniversary. It was the first time we had left you without either one of us at home. It was a big deal. Grandma Thurston flew in to love you guys up. I can tell you had a great time….but it was pretty magical when we walked in the front door and your face lit up.

Your smiley eyes are laser beams of joy.

We were at the beach last night as a family and at one point dad wrapped a towel around you while I was holding you and you just looked at both of us with those laser beam eyes and the three of us experienced a super duper in love moment.

You are all about water, playing with the water table, crawling around in the grass and dirt.

If you hear the bathtub filling up you beeline it to the bathroom and make it very clear that you want in.

But as soon as you are done you are done. Its fun watching you be fairly decisive. If you are done taking a bath, you know it. If you want a drink and not a cracker, it’s clear. You want mom and not dad, there is no mistaking that one.

You always prefer me. NEVER gets old. Best self esteem boost. Makes me forget about all the extra weight I have to lose and the bra-less outfit I have been sporting all day. When you reach for me I am a super model.

You and Nova have started to play really well with each other. Give and take, giggles, wrestling. I think stuff will start to get really fun once you are able to run with her.

She still needs to work on not pulling you or forcing you to do things….but she does have good ideas, so I can’t really blame her. Like in the tub she wants you to lean back on her so she can be Mr. Nathan, the swim teacher, and you can be the student. “Kick kick kick” she says. She also likes to tell you “It’s OK, it’s tear-free, bubbas”, when you are getting your hair rinsed.

Today after you woke up she brought her blankie to you and asked if you wanted it. Super sweet.

Yesterday she was playing in mud in the backyard and as soon as she heard you peep on the monitor she was begging for me to get you so you could play in the mud with her. “Will we just wash his jammies after?” “No I will just take them off, so he can get dirty with you”. “ OK!! Go get him!!”

We obviously go to Disneyland all the time since we live so close we met up last week with cousins that were in town. It was the first time you were a little scared on pirates. You didn’t want to face out but wanted me to hold you close and be cheek to cheek. Adorbs.

Bubbas, Bubs, Bubbies….seem to be the nicknames of choice although does on occasion call you “princess baby brother”...so maybe that counts? When I go to get you after you wake up I always call you “Zu Zus”. You have to be there.

I am in the middle of trying to make some fun birthday plans for your 1st. Although you know every age is my favorite I am always so excited to celebrate milestones with you.

I did the same with Novs, but for your 11 month shoot I wanted to show what your day looks like. These are the types of images I know I will treasure so much. I wanted it to be a somewhat normal day and believe it or not going to Disneyland is a normal occurrence for us. I struggled wanted to shoot this with film but wanting to post while you were still 11mos so digital won. They aren't perfect but I love them so.

I will eat you alive my yummy nummy yummy boy.





10 Months

I can’t lie...your 10th month flew by. Before I knew it you were 11 months and then almost one.

I knew before you and your sister were even born that I wanted to really document the best I could the thoughts and feelings and images of your first year. I knew it would be hard to keep up once you got older but that first year is so formative. I wanted these monthly synopses to really focus on the transition we as a family had once you were here in the flesh. I want you to be able to look back, and while reading, know without a doubt what an integral part you are of our family. I want you to know that from the very beginning nothing mattered more to me than the responsibility of caring for you. Listening to you. Knowing you.

Some people think that because you are so young and won’t “remember” that things like your birth or your first year may not affect you all that much. But that is wrong. Incorrect. I believe with all my heart and mind that you were smart and aware before you were even born. Capable of thinking, feeling and internalizing all of it. I know that so much of what has happened in the last 10 months has formed little connections in your mind.

If this journaling does nothing else I hope it tells you this: You Matter.

You are loved beyond any words I have to describe love. You are a thought in my mind constantly. Every part of you makes me swell with pride and happiness. The moments when you stand on your own or take your first couple of steps (which you did this month!) and the moments when we get through something challenging...like a long night of teething or a weekend when we had to be apart while I worked. Growing with you is what I am doing. When you point at a bird for the first time, something in me changes too. When you copy my sounds and we sing together, something happens that can’t be reversed.  Little connections you and I are making. Bonding us closer and closer to one another.

My hope is this bonding will help us through the experiences that are sure to come that will rock us. The moments when there is hurt or fear. We can rely on each other for strength and for comfort. We can KNOW that we are secure. That is why I am doing this. Proof.

This month I want to share a couple of songs I have written for you.

I know my days are limited where you will want to lay in my arms being soothed by me.

Feeding you and holding you before you go down for naps or bedtime are some of my most treasured moments.

The lights are dim, the sounds are calming and I stroke your hair and touch your cheek while my arms hold you tight.

When you were younger and these moments where longer, I did on occasion read on my phone while you feed but this month I stopped doing that. I just look at you and meditate.

This month while I hold you and sing to you, you have started watching me while I do this. Really watching me. I can tell you recognize the words. Your bright little eyes light up and watch me as I sing my feelings.

I wrote your lullaby the day your cousin Charlie was born driving back from the hospital. The lyrics and melody just came in a matter of minutes.

Fairbanks Mitchell Porter the first

We wanted you here, then you came to earth

Hugging, kissing and giggling too

Fairbanks, your Mama loves you.

I love you, I love you I’ll sing it to the sky

I love you, I love you as I look into your eyes

Run with me through this meadow

Baby hold my hand

Fairbanks, your mama’s favorite little man.

(alternate ending: Run with me through this meadow, throw your arms round me tight. Fairbanks, with you here, everything is right).


This other song I wrote while you were only a month or so. We had just finished eating and you were lying on my legs.

I just love you so much

I just wanted you to know

I never will leave you

I’ll go wherever you go

I love you more than one

I love you more than two

You could count forever and it would still be too few

I just love you so much

I just wanted you to know…


Over and over we sing these songs, in varying ways. Your sister has them memorized and sometimes will break out in “I just love you so much!!!!”

And we do!  Happy 10 months to my sweet, climby, on the verge of walking boy.

I am so happy you are mine.




9 Months

What an amazing month of loving you it has been.

I keep telling your dad, in an almost panic, that you are almost 1 and he keeps reminding me to ease up and let you just be the age you are. So I did. I tried my best to just let you be 9 months this whole month.

I know how quickly all of this baby stuff passes so I am taking every opportunity to slow down and “see” you.

An extra 10 seconds in the tub letting myself be fully present and only thinking about all of your delicious pudgy parts.

When I feed you before sleep, I am putting away my smart phone and just looking at you in silence as your eyes get heavier and heavier.

When I rock you and your wrap your body around mine, I walk over to the mirror in your room so I can watch us sway and move. I want to see you small in my arms.

I am crushing hard on your light brown curls that gather on the back of your head.

I am loving you doing things for reactions and waiting for them. You throw yourself spread eagle on the couch or sisters bed and then wait, with a twinkle in your eyes, for one of us to tickle you or come in for a wrestle.

We were driving back from Costco late one night and you were hungry and ready for bed and so understandably a little sad. I found this little toy and put it in my mouth and and spit in out over and over and you laughed SO hard. It doesn’t take much for me to get a sweet little grin or even a belly laugh.

Lots of amazing balance with your strong legs and amazing strength.

Your favorite game is climbing on the small rocking chair and standing on it while rocking it back and forth. At first when I saw you doing this I was terrified...but now you can climb up and climb off with ease.

I even saw you back off the couch by yourself this last week.

I also watched you pull yourself up the front of your crib. I need to video that as proof.

It’s so nice for you to feel so confident moving. I am so happy for you that you have that freedom and the choice of where you want to go and when.

We have never used a baby gate with you and try to just keep the house safe so you can explore away.

You love eating but always want me to top you off when you are done.

We have branched out and let you try and eat all sorts of things this month. Blueberries, cottage cheese, asparagus, bread, pasta. You are really good about trying it all but still prefer nursing. Which is fine by me. I am happy to nurse on demand. Works for us.

You do use a straw and sippy as well which kills me when you do because it makes you look so grown up.

You are more interested in books and I love reading the animal one to you where you touch fur. You are so curious.

It’s been a wild month because you had fevers twice. Which was NOT cool and scared your poor old mom.

The first time it was for 3 days and you were miserable. I even contemplated taking you to the ER because I was so freaked out. Taking medicine is hard for you but you were brave and let us help you. All I could do was hold you and feed you and be there for you. It’s in those moments that I really feel like this is what parenting is all about. Helping you. Loving you. And not wanting to do anything but that. I feel so blessed that I get to be the one to soothe you when you feel miserable. My love for you feels so fierce in those moments.

In the end you had roseola and survived. To my delight! You must always survive. Okay dokey?

Starting to feel like I need to dress you more.

I really think I am the type of mom that should be raising my babies in a tropical paradise because clothes and especially restrictive clothes seem utterly unnecessary for babies. But I can’t help but feel the social pressure to have jeans for you..or maybe a pair of shoes. I can’t believe your mom is such a hippie.

You found the slide and the swing and giggle and giggle when you are on them.

I still wear you a lot in the carrier..but not as much. You want to move so much now that to wear you we must be on the go.

Sleeping has changed. You rarely sleep in bed with me anymore. Your stretches are longer and longer and you really are just starting to sleep better with more space from me. Sad face but it’s OK. I can’t lie and say that the 8.5hrs of straight sleep you gave me last night wasn’t incredible.

Calling you Buh Buh’s a lot. Sister calls you that too. So cute.

She talks a lot about keeping you safe. “I’ll protect him mom” as she hovers over you while you climb off her mattress on the floor.

She keeps telling me she wants alone time with you and wants you two to play alone in her room with the door closed. I have to explain to her that you are still a little baby and I need to see what you are up to. I am just so glad you two have each other.

She loves coming in to your room when you wake up. Copying my sing songy voice as we greet you. “ A da zoozies!” “A da my zoozie baby!” I actually say these things to you and she copies. It’s some weird baby greeting language that has developed for you and your sister. Dad thinks I am a crazy baby lady (and I am).

My favorite is watching you with pure glee up on your one knee, bouncing and clapping your hands.

And you crawling around the house looking for me saying “ Mamamamamama…” will never ever get old. You reach for me and I reach for you.

You talk a lot to me. About this and about that.

You have also started laying in my arms while you are tired and just looking at me while I sing to you. Almost like you are singing yourself to sleep. I am you and you are me.

I am obsessed with the fact that we are so close. So connected. So intertwined.

You are yourself but not quite like another person. You kind of feel like one of my body parts. Other moms get this, right?

Such a fun fun fun happy age.

Hands down my favorite development this month was the attachment you formed to your blankie. Without fail, everytime we go to pick you up out of your crib you are holding one of the silky corners. Nova was never this way with a blanket and I am loving watching you form opinions about what you like and don’t like.

You have also started laying on my shoulder when you are tired. Almost like a hug.

I have to remind myself that I like every stage you are at the best. So far this one wins.

This month I wanted your photos to be about your relationships with each member of your family. We are all so attached and connected to each other and I want to remember what that looked like.

Today you gave me a kiss out of the blue. Ahhhhhh!!!

We are all so madly in love with you Fairbanks. So thankful for my sweet boy

xxoo- Mom


Big thanks to Elise Capener for getting these shots of my little family.

I can't lie and say 2013 has been a walk in the park (although we did walk to quite a few parks). It was a miraculous year with Fairbanks joining the team but also a super challenging one for some personal reasons. What?! There are things I don't share online? I know, shocker.

What I do know is I love my family more than I ever knew I  could. I would do anything for them.

My goal for 2014 is to think of them more and myself less. Serve them better, love them more. I have a feeling if I do that it will work out to my benefit as well.

(and maybe I could blog more???)

Happy New Year!

Follow my daily updates on Instagram @rachelthurston_





8 Months

As we near the end of your 8th month I am amazed at how much you have matured.

We had a doctors appt for you this last week and as you layed there on the table in your little diaper and teething necklace...I had to take a minute and really take in how much you have grown.

The way you even look at me is different.

You are starting to say so much more with your eyes.

And you have gotten so vocal! Yelling, blabbering. Your dad calls it “motor boating” because you make these little spuddering lip noises all the time.


You reach for me with your arms. I scoop you up.

This last week I was in NYC for work and stuff and was away from you guys for 2 nights. While I was away it’s like you turned a new leaf as far as eating and sleeping.

You now gladly eat solids and beg for them. Pears, apples, any steamed veggies. You love doing it yourself and are so good at it.

Today I watched as you figured out how to drink water from a sippy cup.

Today was also the day that you finally made it into the fireplace. I was cleaning in the kitchen and you got awfully quiet in the family room. I checked on you and sure enough you have surpassed our pillow blockade and your little hand was in ash.

At 8 months how do you know not to make a sound if you don’t want to be caught?

Sister is bonkers for you.

She loves feeding you and asks all the time if she can help.

She also claps for you when you eat food saying in her mockery mom voice, “Good job bu buhs!! Good eating!!”.

Sister also likes to be on choking patrol. “Baby brother can’t play with my tiny turtle, he’ll choke on it”. That’s right Novs. It is our job as your family to keep you safe.

She loves making you laugh or smile. She will ask if she can bounce your foot and then jump up and down while holding on to your foot in our arms. It never fails to make you grin.

You like to fall asleep on your own now. I still feed you right before but our time together is shorter. True it has free’d up hours of my day but I watch you on the monitor and wonder if I shouldn’t come in and have you sleep in my arms.

As much time as soothing a baby to sleep takes, I value it so much. It is the one time when it is just you and me. And it only lasts while you are a baby.

You love to stroke my arm or talk to me now as we relax and eat together.

I love you so much, I feel like crying even typing how it feels to have those special quiet moments with you.

You love pushing our little chairs around the house walking behind them.

You like climbing up steps.

You LOVE the bath. Seriously nutsos for bathtime. And so daring. Giving me a heart attack always wanting to crawl into the deep end.

You have the sweetest 4 teeth with more on the way. Your hair is getting longer and lighter with little curls.

If one of us shakes our head at you, you will mimick and shake back.

If I laugh you will laugh back.

If I smile you smile.

You love watching and learning about the world around you.

The other day in the car Nova was yelling at you, “brother don’t look out the window, look at me!!”

You want nothing to do with the blender but can’t get enough of the recycling bin.

Right now your favorite toys are the wooden stick that we use to lock the sliding door, paper and anything that sister doesn’t want you to touch.

Oh!!! and you LOVE doors. Prying open, slamming...you especially love the little kitchen because there are loads of doors just your size for you to slam and open, slam and open.

I try to read you books but all you want to do is eat them.

You still love the nuzzle game. “uhhhhhhhhhh...get you get you get you!!” as I nuzzle and kiss your neck. I love pulling back during this game to get a look at your face. Your eyes shine and you have the look of pure contentment and happiness as you wait for your attention.

Oh to be a baby.

It’s impossible for these words or photos to really explain how I feel for you...but I am going to keep trying.

Loving you feels so incredible.

xxoo- Mom

7 Months

My little buddy

I am writing this so much later in the month than I usually do. Typically I write these near the first part of the month..and this is at the end. Which I kind of don’t mind. I get to look back through your 7th month and write a little bit about what has already happened. A true update on what your 7th month was like.

I’ll just start by saying it was pretty great.

I have this strange feeling you will be walking before 12mos. BUT I could be totally wrong. That is your decision. You are just already pushing stuff around the house, like the laundry basket or play cars, walking behind them.

You crawl FAST. Pull yourself up to standing. Walk around furniture and started this fun thing this month where you stand only lightly holding on with one hand. It’s pretty fun to watch.

You fall. A lot. But we are there to catch you or almost catch you every time you do.

I wonder if there is any correlation with head bumps and intelligence (I kid).. Because you probably bump your head 10 times a day. You have so much you want to do and CAN do there is really no way to stop it. You are a force and we are mere spectators.

You are such a sweet sweet boy.

Constantly smiling at me and looking for me.

You crawl towards me saying “ma ma ma ma”.

The other morning you woke up on me with, I kid you not, bedhead.

Your hair is getting longer and your sweaty morning bedhead kills me.

You sleep so hot and often I find a little wet spot on the sheets from where your head was. New nickname “heater head”.

You have 4 teeth in already and it hasn’t been the easiest road.

Lots of teeth and teething mean lots of needing to chew.

We are trying to eat but you have preferences. You don’t want to be spoon fed. You like to hold whole foods like a half a banana, cooked broccoli, a green bean. You are a big boy and can do things on your own.

Except when it comes to sleeping.

You’ve been loving napping or trying to nap on me all day long.

Kind of hard to have happen when sister needs me too. The having two kids thing is sometimes tricky.

You are a great BFeeder but like to do it in a dark quiet room alone with me. You will watch the door until dad and sister are completely out and the door is closed. Then on occasion you will only take a couple sips and then want to get down, look around or, your favorite thing is playing with the curtains while you are still on my lap. You will turn towards them with a giant grin on your face waiting for me to give you attention for wanting to play with them. “You sneaky baby!! Babies aren’t supposed to play with curtains! Excuse me, we are supposed to be eating!!”.

It’s the little things.

We busted out Dad’s old baby clothes and I died and went to cute heaven when you put on his light blue sweatsuit from the 70s. So fun.

Your poor nails get so long and sharp and then you scratch your face up.

You rub your eyes and your ears when you are sleepy and your little nails get you. Makes it look like you are getting in fights.

You smile ear to ear when sister gives you so much attention first thing in the mornings. She coos at you imitating the way I do.

You like to play with anything she touches. She has her moments when she loves sharing with you and times when she doesn’t want you to touch anything she is playing with.

She has started picking you up and carrying you to us. The look on your face as she does this is priceless. It says, “Mom, is this really happening?”.

She likes to “help” you move..but pushing, pulling. We are teaching Nova to let you move on your own. She’s ready for her playmate to be a bit bigger. That doesn’t mean you get permission to grow up any faster mister.

I keep reminding myself lately that this is all temporary. All the hard day in and day out work and more importantly all of the amazing day in and day out.

I wont be tired forever. You won’t be teething forever. I won’t have all this extra baby weight forever. You won’t let me hold you while you sleep forever.

I’m trying to be in the moment. Dirty dishes, in our jammies and my two babies crawling all over me.

I feel grateful. Thankful. My life is composed of eating schedules, naps, soothing, tickling and lots of kissing and hugging and being close...so close to you and your sister.

Your dad and I are crazy about you two. We are out of this world tired and out of this world in love.

I know I will look back with fondness on the time in my life when our worlds revolved around this simple home life.

Love you so much buh buhs, buddy, sweet boy, baby brother, Fairbanks.

Thank you for making my days so filled with love and purpose.


6 Months

Half a year has already passed with you. 6 months.

For some reason 6 months seems like the time when I have to let your newborness go.

You aren’t making that hard to do with all the moving you’re doing.

Yep, you crawl.

Yes, I am proud of you...but there is a part of me that wishes you would just be helpless a little while longer.

Also, baby proofing is stressful.

Now that you can move everything could be a choking hazard and a potential surface for bonks.

With this new found freedom, sister has taken it as her cue to get physical. It’s like she knows you can handle it and wrestle hugs you any chance she gets.

Warms my heart she loves having a buddy.

Today at storytime at the library we swear she was a little proud showing you off. She keep hugging and kissing you and trying to move you back closer to us when you would crawl away. She is your keeper. She loves you so.

So you crawl. Kind of can’t get over it.

You sit too but are still tipsy.

It’s fun to see things you want and to watch you go for them. Over pillows, other toys..you know what you want and can get there fast.

You also have pulled yourself to standing! 6 months old and you stand holding onto stuff.

You have super human baby strength.

Favorite toys seem to be anything Nova may want to play with (shocker), empty cardboard film boxes, plastic (you’re not allowed), our feet, shoes and little plastic babies. I love watching you suck on their heads like you are a giant.

You also want to eat. I am trying not to let you, but it’s hard since you try to grab everything.

BFing is just so much easier..and less messy. Sigh.

So far you have tried banana (your first food!), avocado, mango, applesauce, carrots and the other day you were pounding the peach and mango soft serves from our favorite vegan place in Laguna Beach. “More! More!”, your eyes said.

Even in your most tired or most cranky moments, if I look at you you’ll smile.

You are not much of a cuddler unless you are drinking or sleeping. Constantly giving us the arm-bar wanting to face out and see what all the fuss is about.

You will walk around cheek to cheek with me. Love.

Lots of talking...or I should say grunting. You are such a little bear cub.

After our Utah trip we headed up to Big Sur for a wedding I was shooting. You adjusted so well to all the different sleeping arrangements.

The funniest part is us still dragging your swing everywhere for you to sleep in.

Any day you are going to grow out of that thing. The seat belt is getting tighter and tighter.

You still sleep most of the night on me, in my arms or next to me. Love having you close to me all night long.

You search around for my hand when you are eating and grasp onto my finger. TIGHT. Everytime you eat you do this now. Wanting to hold my hand. I die.

You are proudly wearing 6 month sized clothes and looking mighty handsome in whatever you have on.

Sister calls you baby brother and buddy most of the time. I probably call you sweet boy the majority of the time and I think dad calls you buddy a lot...but I can’t be sure.

You don’t like wind, especially cold wind--freaked us out at Pfeiffer Beach a couple weeks ago hyperventilating in the cool beach wind.

You are such a light. Smiling your squinty smile at anyone who cares to look.

I can’t look at you enough or kiss you enough or tell you I love you enough.

My favorite is waking up next to you. After a long night of teething and eating and getting comfortable...you start waking up before you even open your eyes. You stretch, rub your eyes (like crazy), grunt and then slowly, so slowly open your sleepy eyes. When our eyes meet, you smile. You aren’t surprised to see me inches from your face. I can tell you expect it. Like if I wasn’t there you would wonder, but having me there is what makes sense. Then we wake up together, smiling some more, talking and me kissing your neck while giving you my mama bear grunt.

For the last few months we have this thing were I help you throw your arms around my neck while I say, “hug hug hug hug hug!”, with one of your cheeks against mine, and then we switch and do the other side. You smile your big open mouth slobbery smile. Your eyes shining.

Loving you and caring for you is such a blessing.

I just love you so much,



5 Months

Oh my. I love you so much.

If someone just looks at you, you smile.

Your smile is pure joy.

Your needs are so simple and your intentions are so pure.

Holding you is free therapy.

Just holding you makes everything so much better than whatever it was like before I was holding you.

I know that all of this time I get to hold and love on you will change. I know you won’t fall to sleep on me forever...so I am really trying to savor it. Every once in a while after you fall asleep eating with me, I will lift up the blanket to look at your sleeping feet, crossed at the ankles, your chubby hand, spread across my chest. Your full belly, moving in and out with you breathing against skin.

I know my memory will fade but I can read this and remember that for those few seconds that I adored you while you slept, loving you was all that mattered.

You are moving so so much.

You can get wherever you want by pushing up to your hands and knees and then propelling yourself forward. Your dad and I like to joke that we are breeding a race of super humans.

You like to lounge on your side and be propped in sitting position between my legs.

You are a major jumper like your sister. Constant jumping from sun up til sun down.

Unless you are eating or sleeping what’s the point of being held like a baby?

You are a big boy now and prefer to be treated like one.

You are so great at grasping everything and exploring with your mouth.

Your favorite position is hands clasped together in prayer position, in your mouth. While your eyes twinkle with the excitement at being able to gnaw on your fingers.

Carrying you around in the carrier is starting to wear me out a little. So funny! Your sister was so much lighter than you I never noticed...but you are a bit heftier. I love it.

I love your weight and how it feels to hold you.

You are way interested in food, so we have let you try banana and pineapple. You are kind of obsessed. I feel bad, but I don’t want to really start feeding you solids yet. Want you to stay a baby.

You grew out of your Puj tub in the sink so we have started bathing you with Nova. It is kind of chaotic with all the soap and slippery skin but you are all smiles.

I think since you are starting to move more, sister is getting a little more physical with you and likes to roll you to where she wants you to be.

Sometimes she loves hard with big squeezes that never end and gritted teeth through which she is baby talking to you.

We stay close by to make sure her wrestling stays “fun”...and I have admit it is kind of awesome to see you two “playing” with eachother. So glad you have each other.

The cutest thing EVER: If she is jumping on the bed and one of us holds you and jumps you facing her, you laugh everytime. Then you both do bums and she wants us to drop you on top of her chest like you are getting her. We do this over and over until my arms are burning from keeping you in mid air for so long.

I am willing to bet there is NO sound better than a baby laugh. Anyone care to challenge that?

I want to shoot more videos of you, more still photos, more shots of your sister and you together. More shots of us together, more images of the whole family. Truth be told I wish there was a way to have a still frame of every second of everyday. It is so hard to edit what moments I want to photograph and what moments I just need to remember. Feels like torture.

I love being your mom so much I don’t want to forget what your face looks like when you wake up..or when you fall asleep, or when sister gets really loud or when I tickle you and your face turns into sunshine.

Both, you and your sister, have the best faces.

We are still holding on to the swing. You sleep most naps in it and start your night in it.

Sometimes you sleep short diddys during the day in our bed but swing is king. Kind of scared of what happens when you outgrow it..which is in our near future.

Love sleeping with you, I do. But the last month I have been more tired because you are up more. Every night from about 2:30-3:30am you usually have to poop (Sorry TMI) and it keeps you up. Usually you are happy enough, not crying but just can’t get comfortable. Poor dude. Poor Mom. But I know  it will change again by the time I blink.

We went on your first road trip this last week to Utah. You were a champ.

Traveling with little ones is a lot of work but so worth it to have you all with me. I always prefer you close enough that I can kiss.

You are wearing 6-9mos clothes and we just moved you up to size 3 diapers. After 4 nights in a row of you blowing out of diapers we were like “duh”!

If you wake up crying, which you do on occasion, you cough a lot while we are picking you up. Not sure that you really have to cough seems like a bit of dramatics and I eat it up.

You also LOVE touching and grabbing faces.

The other night I was feeding you to sleep and after your belly was full but you were still awake, I just laid you next to me and I sang to you while you cooed at me while looking in my eyes and touching my cheek. I was so in love.

You also like to talk while you eat sometimes too. You will stay latched on but babble about something and then go on eating. Just so you know I am always listening.

Sister has started asking “What does Ba-ga-ga mean?” When you make a sound that sounds similar. “What does that mean?”. I guess we are all listening.

We pretty much live on pins and needles for you and everything you give to us. We are like starving island survivors and you are our coconut water.

I could stare at you and Nova all day long watching your every moves and be content for a very long time. Saying I am intrigued is an understatement.

Can hardly believe you are almost halfway through your first year.

What can I do better? What can I give you more of? I am sure my shortcomings are more about me and less about you. I have a feeling you are pretty happy with me. You don’t have the expectations that I do of myself. You want to be loved. Check. Done. 100 and a million percent. You want to be fed and need some help sleeping. Done. I live for my kids to be full and well rested. I am grateful you start little with such simple needs so I can have time to develop into what you need me to be.

I am learning and you are happy letting me. And for that I am grateful.

You are so forgiving, so perfect in your forgiveness and your ability to move on. I would say perfect, actually. Can a baby be flawed? It’s amazing. You can’t make mistakes. It is so inspiring to watch and be surrounded by such innocence, love and pure acceptance.

Wow. I am so blessed to have you as mine. I promise to never take that for granted.

My buddy, banksy bear, noodle, sweet boy. 5 months is my favorite so far.


Forever yours,



4 Months

As I type this you are blissfully sleeping in your swing.

I fed you to sleep and once you were really out..watched you sleep on me. Not wanting to move you, not wanting to wake you...not wanting to ever move from that spot with you.

We shopped at Costco tonight and I wore you in the beco. You gazed at me the entire time with eyes that wonder at the magnificent creature I am. When you are 16yrs old and reading this, it’s true. You once had eyes for only me.

You giggle and coo constantly. Even amidst tears if I look at you the right way or speak to you sing songy you will give me a husky little giggle and a big slobbery, gummy grin.

I love that your eyes turn into slits when you smile.

When you smile every part of you reaches outward. Your eyes, mouth, arms..like you are trying to share your happiness with everyone. It works.

I watch you with so much admiration.

You are learning so much!

You are getting so good at grasping onto things with your hands. Toys and my hair are your number one favorite things to grab.

You also like to clutch my shirt while you feed. Kind of like you are saying, “ You’re not going anywhere lady”.

I’m not.


I made up a little song for you one evening while we were spending time together before your bedtime. I can’t remember the tune but the words were, “I love you so much. I just wanted you to know. I never will leave you. I’ll go wherever you go. I love you more than one. I love you more than two. You can count forever and it would still be too few.”

Cheesy. But I am. All ooey gooey over you.

You roll all over the place and I swear you are almost sitting up.

Today you were draped over me on your stomach and pulled yourself up to your knees.

Super baby.

You are freakishly strong for a 4 month old.

You balance on Dads hands like it ain’t no thing and when we walk with you while holding your arms you move your little feet like you are trying to walk. It’s crazy.

You are a really amazing sleeper.

You are creating your own schedule and I am starting to get the hang of it.

Usually you take a nap about an hour after you wake up and then a long afternoon nap the same time your sister naps (love you for that). Then a little dinner time snooze and bedtime happens around 7:30.

At nights you sleep your first stretch for about 5hrs strait and then we sleep/eat for the rest of the night.

I can’t begin to describe how much I love snuggling with you at nights.

I am finding that you don’t need to eat as much at nights but in my sleeping stupor if you wake up I try to latch you on but if you aren’t hungry you aren’t hungry. You want to just fall asleep without eating? Whose child are you?

You also sometimes prefer to lull yourself to sleep ON YOUR OWN. Nova needed a lot of loving care to fall asleep but I think with your heftier size you sleep a little more soundly. But the truth is I am sometimes sad when you don’t need to be rocked to sleep. I love helping my babies be comfortable. It’s my job.

I still wear you in the moby on occasion but you are loving the beco carrier right now.

We haven’t had a double stroller yet but on occasion we have taken rides with you strapped into the BOB and your sister rides on the front step. You are excited so you kick your little legs into sister’s back. She calls back to you “Be nice. Don’t kick me baby brother”. We have to explain to her that you are just excited to be riding with her. Love kicks we like to call them.

When you are a little fragile and sad..maybe you just woke up Nova likes to growl in your face. I try to lovingly explain that you might not be in the mood for growling but before I can put an end to it, your sad little face looks at me llike “mom is this really happening”? Yes, buddy it is.

Nova will sometimes point out, “look mom, I’m holding his hand because I love him. He’s my best friend”.

Today at lunch she said, “He has two names, Fairbanks and baby brother”.

You love watching your wild older sister run circles around all of us.

We busted out the jumper/play seat that you seem to like for 10mins at a time.


Poor baby. I don’t remember Nova teething this early.

You have good teething days and bad ones...but the one thing we can always count on is DROOL.

You are a drool monster. I bought little cotton bibs from Ikea when Nova was born but she never used them. You go through at least 2 a day.

Your hair is going light. Your dark newborn hair is at the bottom and blond little hairs are growing in.

I find myself calling you bubba a lot. Baby brother, noodle, doo doo and “my sweet baby”.

You still have lots of rolls and I hope they stay around for as long as possible.

This last month I have found myself thinking a lot about “good” babies. People always ask, “Is he a good baby”? I think what they mean is, “Is he an easy baby”....but it bothers me a little. ALL babies are good. They are good by nature. Even if a kid makes a mistake or a bad decision I believe they are still “good”. If one of my babies cries strait for a year, that wouldn’t make them bad. Just sad, or sick or uncomfortable.

You don’t cry, hardly ever. But just so people know I will always say my kids are good, because they are.

Fairbanks, you are my little love. I couldn’t be happier to call you mine.




3 Months

Newborn to baby and I am not sure how I feel about it.

Being a mom to small kids and babies feels like time never ends and speeds by all at once.

Seems like you can see much farther distances and make eye contact from across the room.

I thought you looked like your sister when you were born but you really look so different to me now. She had big round alert eyes and you have these irresistible bear cub eyes that still look kind of sleepy.

Tired, hungry or not feeling well, you still smile ALL THE TIME. I just look at you and smile and you smile back.

Excited to take you to the doctor’s tomorrow to see how much you weigh.

You are the perfect cuddly size.

Already wearing 3-6mos size clothes. Makes me so sad when you grow out of your little little stuff.

You are the champion of all champions when it comes to sleeping! You fall asleep and I can just lay you down and you stay asleep. Or if you are tired and about to fall asleep I can put you in your swing and you peacefully slumber away. Such a dream.

You start the night sleeping about 5hrs strait and then only need a couple super short sips through the rest of the night while we snuggle next to each other.

Lately it seems like you purposely kick me awake when you want to eat. No cries, just swift kicks to my back.

It’s been a crazy work month for me (June always is). I had to spend 2 nights away from you in a matter of just 8 days. It was super hard for me to spend that much time away from you and your sister. Your dad is a rockstar and everything was fine but I always feel sad when you have to drink from a bottle, especially when you fight it at first.

I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it all. I want to give 100% to everyone and everything. Impossible... but I still wish I could. Those work days away are hard.

We took our first family trip to NYC. I walked around the city with you wrapped on me. I love that city and I love you. You met a lot of friends and your Aunt Jenelle and Uncle Conny for the first time. I love showing you off.

You roll over!!

So fun to see how your brain and body develop together and with each other.

I sat on the carpet and watched you roll back and forth for a couple minutes this last week and marveled at how every part of you just wants to flip from your front to your back. You are so focused and don’t give up. I know you are only 12+ weeks old but I love seeing parts of your personality already forming.

Getting to the 3 month mark with a newborn is pretty great. By this time feeding you is second nature, the timing of our day is kind of figured out and everyone is getting into the general swing of things.

Your dad has started working more so we get to spend more days alone with your sister. It’s pretty fun. I get a chance to prove I can mother both of you at the same time and we all get a chance to miss each other.

One day I took both of you to your sister’s my gym class and then we shopped at trader joe’s and then we made lunch and I put you both down for naps. Sounds like pretty normal stuff but with a 2yr old and a newborn nothing is normal. Everything is an adventure.

Starting to realize if I ever want to date your dad again you need to come with. I just don’t like leaving my babies under the age of 6mos. So you went on a date with us. We returned clothes and bought new bedroom furniture AND ate at Umami Burger. I loved being out with my two boys.

Seems like you are becoming more and more intrigued with your big sister. You watch her with wonder, like she is a super hero (she is).

Sometimes I direct a question towards both of you like, “should we all go outside and play?” and Nova will answer and say “Baby brother says yes!”. You two have this telepathy thing going on. She knows what you want.

Lately when you are upset, she will tell me you are crying and then proceed to try and comfort you by tucking you in with a blanket or singing right in your face at a 110% volume.

While we are on the topic of “volume” you talk so much now. We have little conversations where you tell me about your dreams or something funny you saw sister do. Your sounds are amazing.

You love to stand and sit and want to hold your head up all by yourself. I have very independent children.

You also have much more control of your hands now and can purposely bat at toys.

You purposely find my hand now while you eat and want to hold on tight to my fingers. I hold on back.

You went to Disneyland a bunch this month and we think your favorite ride is It’s a Small World. You grinned the entire time.

You are still taking naps in your Moby but I am starting to feel like you might be nearing the end of wanting to hang out in there. Tear. Sniff sniff.

Thank you for another great month.

Holding you makes me so happy.

Kissing and nuzzling your neck never gets old.

Watching you watch me and knowing you are mine is so comforting.

It is getting really hard to remember a time before you were here.

This Mama Bear loves you more and more and more everyday. You grow and change and learn...and so do I. So glad I am not doing this life thing alone.





2 Months

You started in month one but by 6 weeks we can’t keep the smile off your face.

Is it normal for an infant to smile this much? Be this happy? It is infectious.

Holding and kissing you and seeing those little lips turn upward makes me feel so satisfied.

The day before you turned 6 weeks old you took your first plane ride with me to Salt Lake City.

You slept the entire time. In your wrap.

Your dad and sis dropped us off, I wrapped you on me on the curb at LAX and then didn’t take you out of the wrap until we had touched down in SLC. Easiest airport, plane ride with a newborn ever.

I was kind of hoping to show you off to the other passengers (I am proud)..but nope. You slept.

Your sweet Grandma, Grandpa and aunts helped watch you while I had to shoot a wedding Saturday. You slept wrapped on Aunt Anna and Aunt Kate helped you take a bottle that night while I shot the reception. You survived!

Leaving you is not my favorite. Feels kind of wrong. Strike that, not “kind of” TOTALLY wrong. Babies are meant to be with their mamas. Fact.

Leaving you to shoot the ceremony was the first time I had left you with anyone but your dad. You were wrapped on Aunt Anna and I turned to walk away from them while fighting back tears. That’s how hard it was to leave you for the first time. That’s how much I worry for your comfort and well being. There is nothing I care more about that you and and your sister being well cared for.

You have grown out of most of your newborn stuff and are wearing 0-3months proudly.

I finally took you to see Dr. Lin before we left for Utah and you weighed in at 12lbs and totlaly healthy. Can’t believe I waited almost 6 weeks for you to see a doctor. Dr. Lin wasn’t concerned at all..he said since I am a 2nd time mom and I pro and I will know when you need to see a doctor. Not sure about that “pro” label but I defintly feel more in the know than I did the first time around. Just as much intuition the first time I have just have more expeiernce now as well.

You are such a great sleeper.

But (there is always a but) you prefer to sleep with me and on me. If this happens you sleep and you sleep soundly BUT if I try to pass you to Dad or set you down you definitly don’t sleep as long or as sound.

Makes doing anything else near to impossible (hence the reason these monthly posts are so belated).

Truthfully I love the way you immediately calm in my arms.

You look at me and feel better.

If that isn’t a self esteem boost I don’t know what is!

I have been shooting more but finding time to sit at my computer to blog or email is proving to be impossible unless you are asleep wrapped on me (like you are at this very moment while I type).

I have a feeling everyone will forgive me for being a bad blogger when I have you to love up. On my death bed I will not regret holding and being with you as much as I could. Pretty sure I will not wish that I blogged more.

That being said I am so proud of myself for journaling in this way. I feel proud that I am documenting your first year this way. I want to document small glimpses of what it was like to be newly with us and how much we loved you. I want you to know your life started this way.

Still have your ear fur. This is my way of keeping track of whether you are still a newborn.

You have so many different expressions. Your smiling face looks so different than your serious one or your hungry one.

You looked a lot like your sister when you were first born but now I really think you look so different.

Your eyes are different. I like looking at you and knowing I made a baby that no one else will ever look like.

Gosh, I love you so much.

I have a bad habit of driving short distances with you in my lap. We are in the back seat while your dad drives..but still. I know it’s naughty but the whole “I’m happiest in mom’s arms” kind of gets me. Sorry laws.

Your new thing is to wait until we change your diaper to poop. You like a clean diaper before you will do the dirty work.

You have started babbling. You like to look right at us and coo and gurgle. Music to my ears.

When you need to cry you go from 0-60. No crying and then huge heartfelt cries. Tears too. So dramatic and so hard to prepare for! It's kind of like you keep it all in and then let it out in an explosion. Wonder who that sounds like.....(ps. not mom)

Your sister has been calling you her “friend” lately. Warms my heart.

This month she is experimenting with her boundaries when it comes to you.

She hugs you and kisses you and tells you she loves you non stop but then every once in a while she will back up and look at your dad and I and ask the question, “ kick baby bruda?”. I try to ignore her and say things like, “ we only hug and kiss and love him. Maybe you can rub his belly or tickle his feet...” This seems to work.

The thing is, she never wants to leave you alone. None of us do.

You are the first person she wants to say good morning to and the first person she cares about seeing if she has been gone.

I am so happy you have eachother.

I am so happy you have someone to talk about your crazy old parents with when you get older.

These past two months have had their ups and downs but my constant is my dedication and focus on my kids and husband.

Somedays I have to remind myself more than others that my #1 job is just being a wife and mother. All the other roles pale in comparison.

Banksy Bear!! You are my little love. I love you this age and know how much I am going to love all of you to come.


Lets cuddle,



1 Month

I am writing this a bit after you turned a month old...closer to 6 weeks. In all fairness the reason I was waiting was because of the photos! I shot your one month images using film and am still waiting on the lab for those pictures. I do want to shoot most of your monthly images using film, so I will have to figure out this whole waiting issue. Lesson learned I need to write out my words on the day even if they photos aren’t ready yet. Hey, you choose a photographer mom, so get use to this sort of garbage.

Your first month was complete bliss.

You are complete bliss.

I read somewhere that babies are in a continual state of bliss and happiness. Truth.

Since you have a sister on the go you have been out and about quite a bit.

You’ve been shopping, Disneyland (twice), the beach, a Yo Gabba Gabba party...but most of the time you are with me.

We hang out together a lot.

I sometimes think “wow my babies like to be held a lot...” and then I remember babies like to be held a lot. All of them. And I just happen to do it.

Of course you are more comfortable sleeping on me. Of course you are more comfortable being held by me and rocked by me rather than a swing or a bouncer.

My confession is that every once in a blue moon I need a break. Like, to go to the bathroom, or to wrestle your sister....but besides that we are glue.

You eat like a champion.

You have had a tiny bit of acid reflux and it seems to bother you more right before bedtime. Poor lil monkey. We take lots of breaks while we feed for burping. I do think part of the problem is the Niagara Falls-esque milk supply I have plummeting into your tiny throat. I don’t think feeding you upside down would make a difference.

I took you in to see your midwife to check out your breastmilk jaundice and she weighed you. I think you were almost a month old and had already gained a pound and a half. Atta boy.

All of your dark hair is still here including the fur on your ears. Love to notice the features that still make you a newborn. Your cry, your nuzzles.

I love the trust and complete comfort you have with me. When we are feeding you will have your eyes close and just bob around with your mouth wide open knowing I will help you get what you want. Once you are latched on you give a little attitude...like you are the prince being handfeed grapes. Guess what? You are! You expect certain things and you should.

I also like the little seal we create with our sweat. If you are feeding or sleeping my my arm, your cheek becomes stuck to my arm and I have to peel us apart. Gross or awesome?

Since you have been born I don’t think I haven’t taken a single nap. You sleep so well at nights. I know part of that has to do with us co-sleeping. We don’t have to get out of bed to eat or change our diapers. On average we wake up 2-3 times to burp or latch back on and that’s it. We both drift back to sleep.

Mostly we sleep with me on my back and you laying on my chest or cradled in my arms. Your head is usually close enough for me to kiss.

Like most new babies you are working through digestion and Dad loves to help you work out gas. When I look over he is constantly rolling you around. He is a man on a mission and I think you appreciate it.

You do prefer me (I am the walking bottle) but you and dad have a special mid-afternoon nap thing that is kind of boys only. You are doing it right now as I type next to me in bed. You both zonk out on the bed, breathing deep. Love my boys.

Your sister is pretty nutz about you. She can’t kiss, hold or hug you enough. She does this gritty teeth thing when she wants you so bad.

I love the way she says your name “fuhbanks”...and she almost always says it in a whisper.

We mostly call you baby brother, Fairbanks, Banksy, Banksy Bear, noodle, sweet boy.

I mostly just think you’re perfect.

You love when I run my lips over yours. It puts you in a trance. Dad watches in wonder that I have such control over you (not sure why he is surprised...). You love my attention and affection and I love giving it.

I am pretty sure you have been smiling since week one. Mornings are your smiliest times.

When you were first here I saw a lot of your sister in you but as you grow bigger more and more you are looking like yourself. Still one of my babies with those cheeks and kissable lips...but your face and your eyes are you....and no one else.

We are starting to get into the swing of things as a family of four. Your dad and I have to take turns around bedtime tag teaming our two munchins.

Sometimes we are all doing the same thing at the same time like sitting around the kitchen table, laying on our bed, snuggling on the couch. Those moments are emotionally intense...at least for me.

I have a family of four. I have a husband and a daughter and son.

This fact makes me feel so full and so overwhelmed. Is there enough of me to go around? There has to be...and I will work hard to make sure there is.

I know there is still time to find balance but for now my main goal is to hold you, feed you, love you and be present for my whole family.

Dishes will get done. Parties will be had. Dates for dad and I will happen again. I will lose the extra weight. There will be plenty of time to outfit myself and get gussied up......

But for now, you are my focus. Welcoming you into our family is all that matters.

I will blink and your newborness will be gone, so I take as many small glances as I can at you throughout the day and let myself feel you so new in my arms.

Being a parent is tough cookies at times but I refuse to waste my time wishing for something else. Wishing for what at times I think will be easier. Trust me, nothing is easier than loving your kids. Nothing is easier than holding you. Nothing is easier than wanting so much for you.

I promise to keep working hard at living NOW.

My friend Natalie Norton shared something on her instagram feed that I haven’t be able to stop thinking about. Hope she doesn’t mind me re-sharing,

“ One of the reasons I resonate so completely with A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is because of how deeply I believe this to be true.” You become like the people you interact with. And if your friends are living boring stories, you probably will too.” I look at my children, and I think, “Like it or not, they’re becoming like me. Like it or not, they are modeling so much of their own future stories after the one I’m choosing to live every single day.” I pray for the courage to teach them in the only way I know how, by inviting them in- by inviting them into a story they’re proud to be a part of. And I hope that together, we can create a life story so much more meaningful than anything any of us could have ever created on our own.”

Loved what she shared so much.

I want to help create a life story for my family that we are proud to have lived.

I want to always invite you into my life, sweet Fairbanks.

I want to keep working hard at seeing and valuing those little miracle moments..you looking into my eyes while you eat, making sure I’ve got you. The way your sisters face looks as she holds you and laughs as she pretends you are tickling her. The way your dad bounces you over his shoulder in his underwear. The way it feels to be touching three people I love SO much all at the same time. I am storing those moments and adding them to our story.

Fairbanks you belong in our story. Like your lullaby sings, “..with you here, everything is right.”

Love, Mom

ps. stay little


Fairbanks's Birth Story

I spent most of the pregnancy with you feeling like I needed “more time.” More time to get stuff done, more time for work projects, more time for one last shoot, more time to get the house in order, more time to wrap my head around having two kids, more time to be READY. This had nothing to do with you…really. I wanted you and was excited for you to be in my arms but from previous experience I knew that certain things would be easier to get done with you chillin’ in your hot tub a little bit longer. What I had kind of forgotten was one of the most miraculous lessons that childbirth has taught me: trust.  Trusting the whole process. Trusting that timing happens for a reason. Trusting you to communicate with me and me to communicate with you. Giving up control and trusting in the basics. Not very much matters once you go into labor. Once I felt that first rising contraction, I remembered. All that mattered was healthy baby and healthy me.

I had an uncomplicated pregnancy with you (similar to Nova’s). Everything happened when it should. You grew and so did I. Towards the end I had a few days with a little bit of high blood pressure but I am starting to think that just happens to me a couple weeks before I deliver. I never got swollen with you and didn’t have any tailbone pain like I did with your sister. I did have some sciatica pain during the first part of the third trimester, which was pretty icky but thankfully didn’t last. But honestly what I cared more than anything about was trying everything that was in my control NOT to have a posterior birth. I leaned forward for months. I tired to only sleep on my left side. I crawled around on my hands and knees whenever I could manage. I loved Nova’s birth story but I wasn’t going to complain if your’s was a lot shorter and maybe less painful.  But there I was thinking too much about something that in the end I knew was out of my control.

For months I had Braxton hicks contractions. I would be walking or standing or doing nothing and my stomach would get hard as a rock. One time we were walking into Disneyland and it happened. I had to stop walking for minute and catch my breath. It would feel like I had no room for my lungs. I wondered if all these little tightening’s were helping prep my body for real labor…was I dilating? After having one baby it is hard not to compare what you have already experienced with all the new experiences. I never really had Braxton hicks contractions with Nova and subsequently ended up doing all of my dilating and laboring with her over a two day period. Intense and long. So these little contractions you were giving me were tiny seeds of hope. Maybe this time would be shorter? I had to keep reminding myself that it might not mean anything and to stop trying to guess. If your birth involved 24hrs of active labor like your sister’s, so be it. I had done it once. I could do it again.

Starting Thursday night on March 28th, I had what felt like pretty bad period cramps that lasted for a couple hours. Peculiar since your due date was still a week away. Nova was 5 days late and so I really didn’t expect you to come any earlier than your due date, April 3rd. Besides, I still had things to wash and buy and do. We spent the couple hours before sunset at Newport Beach. We ate Café Rio and splashed in the water with Nova. It was a bit chilly and I wrapped your sister and myself up in blankets. Passersby looked at my belly and I felt proud. I was super pregnant and that only meant one thing, I had one of my all time favorite humans on his way.

As an interesting side note: when I was experiencing a little high blood pressure, I was quite stressed out about numerous things.  I tried not to be but I just had so much whirling around in my mind. And knowing that I had high blood pressure didn’t help because I was stressed wondering about all the “ifs” and really wanted our homebirth. Your sweet midwife, Lindsay Meehleis, pretty much ordered me to stop working and to take it easy. She said I could be productive 1hr a day and then the rest of the day I could only relax and do enjoyable non-stressful activities. When you run your own business you don’t really get orders like this very often. A load was lifted. She prescribed a massage and I obliged. I changed my mindset after that and gave my worrying a break. I think it was only once I did that that I became ready for you to be here. I needed to make some space and once I did early labor started.

Friday, March 29th, at 1:30pm I felt the first “wave” contraction. I told your dad and his eyes got wide, I smiled. I laid on the couch and started paying attention and timing them for fun. After about an hour, I stopped timing but they were growing and feeling more intense. My excitement was building. I called your midwife just to tell her early labor was happening and that I think my mucus plug was starting to come out. Then I left to get a pedicure. I know this sounds weird but I needed to take my mind off the contractions. I actually went a few hours not really having any, which is typical in early labor and when I did have contractions they were mild. I could talk through them and even walk through them. Still pretty easy going.

We got Cortina’s takeout for dinner and the contractions kept coming. I think your dad and I both thought there was a chance stuff could really get going this night so we kind of kicked it into high gear. Finishing baby wash, getting out supplies, turning up the water heater.

We both gave Nova a bath and I helped dress her in her jammies. I laid her down in her crib with little tears in my eyes reminding her that at anytime her baby brother might come. We kissed her goodnight with my heart beating out of my chest.

That night I was probably awake every hour a few times. Contractions were coming every 30 minutes or so. I would try to sleep in between…but it was hard. I know I did get some sleep though. And as intense as they were starting to feel I could still lay down through most of them, which meant they were still pretty mild.

At about 6am I woke up your dad a little teary eyed and told him I was feeling lonely and didn’t want to labor alone anymore. He immediately was awake and comforting me. I was feeling so many emotions. I think more than anything I was realizing for the 2nd time what the hardest part of labor is, the unknown. As hard as the contractions may feel or even the life altering experience of going through transition and pushing, the unknown is what always gets me. It didn’t matter that I had done it before. I still had no idea how long it would last, how intense it would get….my mind was way over-analyzing it and to be honest I think I was really starting to remember being in labor with Nova and how challenging it was (challenging is a dumb word to describe it). You were getting close and I was purging.

For me labor always consists of so much purging. Letting go of things. Creating space. And that is what I was doing. Cleaning out so we could both have a fresh start for our birth tub beginning.

Contractions were getting stronger but were still sporadic. Your midwife called and she suggested getting on my hands and knees, sticking my hips up high and rocking them back and forth for 45mins, even through contractions. Apparently this could help intensify the contractions and get stuff going faster. After doing this I was suppose to lie on my left side. It definitely was an uncomfortable position to be in during contractions and they felt so much stronger and more intense in this position…painful I would say. Nova was playing along side me during this excersie and even climbed on my back a couple of times. Why else would I be on my hands and knees on the floor if I didn’t want to play and wrestle?

After we were done with that we decided to go for a walk. I was kind of nervous to be out in public contracting…what if I started acting like a crazy person? Would I make our neighbors feel uncomfortable? Grant reminded me it didn’t matter at all and not to worry about it. So out we went. It was around 9:30am. I did have a few contractions but with long breaks in between. What gives? I thought walking would speed things up not slow them down. The sun was out and there was a cool breeze. It felt really good to feel the sunshine on my face and arms.  It smelled like spring flowers and cut grass. It was a Saturday and felt like it. People were out doing yard work and it was seriously gorgeous outside…which I think always happens on Saturdays. It really just felt like a happy, exciting day.

Lindsay showed up around 10am. I wanted to impress her with strong contraction, which is ridiculous, because really “trying” to do anything during labor generally just slows things down. So much of it is a mind game, which only proves how connected our minds and our bodies are and how much our thoughts affect us physically.

Stuff just felt slow moving and we were trying to decide if she should check me. Both of us knew checking was a little bit pointless. I could be any range of numbers dilated and it could change in a flash OR maybe not for hours, days even. But, there was a possibility of her trying to help strip my membranes to speed things up if she did check me. I decided to go ahead and be checked. We both agreed I was probably a 3 or 4 so I wasn’t getting my hopes up too much. Besides it was a lot more painful as I neared active labor with Nova and I just assumed the contractions I was feeling couldn’t be close to active labor. I thought they were still too mild and sporadic.

I lay on the couch and she checked me. Her eyes got wide as she said,  “You are a 6 almost a 7…and 90% effaced”. What?! This was amazing news. I knew it meant the more difficult part was coming but it also meant I was nearing the end and would probably not be doing this for another day. I felt serious relief at that point since my mind to that point had been so fixated on NOT having a super long labor.

Lindsay thought she would maybe head to the Target nearby to let things speed up without her staring at me, but just as we started the discussion, contractions started coming and coming and coming. And they were more intense. “I am not going anywhere. Time to set up the tub.” This was around 11am, minutes after she checked me.

Melissa, her assistant, showed up and the house was in a bustle. Hoses were being attached, supplies were being organized. Beach towels were being carried into the family room where the tub was going to be.

I sat next to Nova in her highchair as she ate lunch and bounced on the yoga ball. I knew I was in active labor but it felt SO different than last time. I was still able to focus on Nova and walk around and make jokes. Was I really in active labor? I even helped put Nova down for her nap. By this point tears were in my eyes as I hoped Nova could be around once he was born AND that it would be positive for her. I didn’t want her to be bothered at all by what I was going through.

It was 1pm. Nova was in her crib napping, the tub was full of water and I was ready to get in it. Right around this same time my parents arrived. They had been driving from Utah and my Dad was dropping my Mom off. They both came in for a minute and my Dad saw me draped over the tub. I pretty sure he heard a contraction as he was leaving and I remember thinking, “I hope he knows I am alright”. With my Mom there I could relax about Nova a bit. I knew once Nova woke up Grandma could help take care of her and distract her.

At some point during all of this when I was probably wondering out loud whether I was progressing, Lindsay told me to try and feel his head. I had never done this with Nova’s birth. With my pointer finger I could feel the top of his head! It was amazing. It felt like there was something slick covering his head…the water sac?

Don’t get me wrong, contractions were still super uncomfortable and even painful at times but I am telling you they were nothing like having back labor. I couldn’t help but keep exclaiming, “ This is not the same as back labor…this is still hard but…” Really. No one had to give me backpressure at all. The contractions instead of wrapping from my front to my back, like with back labor, stayed right in front. Early labor and active labor felt so much easier this time. Shorter and less painful.

Then transition happened.

I am guessing transition started happening around 2:45pm. Up until that point Grant and I had been in the tub and I had switched positions a couple of times. I either wanted to sit leaning back on your Dad a little or be on my knees leaning over the sides of the tub.

I don’t think transition felt different from Nova’s birth. I think transition is transition. You know you are in it when it feels like your body is splitting in two with every contraction.  I say “you know” but when you are in transition you kind of don’t know. When you feel pain that intense you hope it means the end is near but in your mind you aren’t quite sure. I remember feeling a little bit of fear. Fear thinking that I would be stuck in that place forever. Fear that it would really never end. I kept asking how much longer..and I saw Melissa and Lindsay make eyes at each other that told me maybe we were close. They are smart and knew better than to ever tell a woman in transition how long anything would last but when I pleaded with them to tell me whether I would have to do this for the rest of the day, they both had an inkling that wouldn’t be the case.

This is generally the part of labor when women feel like they can’t do it.  I don’t know about others but I am not the most quiet. At the peak of the transition I cry out and my whole body shakes. I remember feeling foggy and emotional. I remember crying out and whimpering for “help”.  “Please help me, please help me”. Lindsay looked firmly into my eyes and said, “Rachel you are the only one who can do this and you are doing it!”. She kept reminding me not to be afraid of the contraction that was approaching but to welcome it, let it work for me. This has to be the ultimate challenge. Knowing the most painful thing you will ever feel is approaching and to welcome it. Want it. Truly know and believe it is for your benefit. This is the test of natural childbirth.

I tried changing my no thoughts to yes thoughts.

Nova woke from her nap in the middle of this right around 3pm. I cried and starting mumbling my worries for her. Lindsay had to gently remind me she was fine and was going to be taken care of. Grandma brought her out to the family room and Nova kept saying, “Mommy sad? Mommy sad”. I remember your Dad telling Nova to look at him so she could see his eyes weren’t worried and to tell her I was fine just working hard to get you here. Grandma took her out to the backyard. They could still hear me from out there and Nova was a bit worried but Grandma and her talked about all the animal noises I was making and they practiced making them together.

So I was inside growling like a lion and Nova was outside growling like a lion.

It was the middle of the day and the afternoon light was streaming through the family room windows. It felt calm but not the same as nighttime calm. It was energizing laboring during the day. I liked knowing that the rest of my world was there with me, whether they knew it or not. I felt like the energy of a Saturday gave me something.

With Nova’s birth I never felt the urge to push. I kept asking Lindsay if and when I should push and she kept telling me to listen to my body and push when it felt like I needed to. This was kind of frustrating. What if I didn’t know or never felt it? But to my surprise contractions started to bare down and sure enough my body naturally started pushing without any direction from anyone else.

Right around this point I turned around and was on my knees facing your Dad. I guess I was only pushing for about 15mins but it honestly felt so much longer while I was in it. I remember opening my eyes for a second during a pause and looking into the reflection of the water and at my hand gripping on to your Dad’s foot. Was it uncomfortable for him? He wasn’t saying if it was. I knew he wasn’t thinking of himself but was thinking of you and I. I felt so grateful he was there for me in that moment.

With every contraction and every push and every grunt the room was full of praise and positive words. “You’re doing it!” “Great job!” “That’s perfect!”. Even with all of the support I don’t think I was alone in my surprise when with one of the pushes your head popped out!  I really didn’t know we were close to that (neither did dad). Once that happened I was a woman focused. There was what felt like a long break between your head coming out and the next contraction and I was worried for you. The next contraction came and I bore down and gave you everything I had. There is no motivation better than knowing you will hold your newborn child in a few seconds.

Whoosh! Your body came out and relief. Your Dad caught you with Lindsay helping. You came out with your water sac covering your head and body and Lindsay gently removed it as your Dad and her lifted you out of the water and into my arms.

I wish I could describe in any accuracy what that moment feels like. It is the perfect cocktail of joy and relief and love. Like fireworks and falling flower petals and laughter and the best kind of tears. In that moment I had never felt so full and complete. You were here.

You were pink almost right away and let out a big loud cry! Music to my ears. You looked almost identical to Nova when she was born.  Dark hair, cheeks for days, cute button nose, 8 chins, arms rolls. You looked like one of my babies. You WERE one of my babies! I recognized your strong kicks in my arms. I have a feeling you weren’t so sure you were ready to come out of your hot tub. I held you close and kissed you to remind you I was still right there.

All of this happened in a matter of moments and I told someone to knock on the window so your Grandma and sister knew you were here and to run in. They did and your sister smiled and her eyes lit up. She had been waiting a long time for you. “Bath tub! Bath tub!” Having a pool full of water in the living room is torture for a toddler and of course we wanted her to jump in with us! Off came her clothes and in she came with us. All of us together. A family of four, at home, healthy, HAPPY. It was truly an amazing moment. I kissed your Dad and both of my babies. We sang you your song. I had never felt happier.

To make sure you were warm enough we needed to get out of the water. Out came Nova and Grandma took her to have a real bath. I held you and carefully stepped out of the tub and onto the couch covered in beach towels (beach towels are the hallmark of a homebirth). You were still connected to me via the umbilical cord which was super thick!! I was still having contractions which surprised me. I guess with subsequent births the after contractions while delivering the placenta and while your uterus contracts back down are more intense. No one told me this. Once I delivered the placenta there was some relief.

We waited to cut the umbilical cord until it stopped pulsing almost 30mins after your were born. It is pretty awesome to feel the cord pulse.

I tore but Lindsay did a pro job of stitching me up.  I could care less about tearing. Would it be nice not to tear? Sure but during transition and while I am pushing it is the last thing on my mind.

You latched on super quick and wanted to eat eat eat. I was a happy mom.

You were in my arms from the moment you were born and for hours afterward. We were bundled in towels staring at the blue sky and sunshine.

At one point I looked at my hand that had been wrapped around you and there was black stuff all over it. Poop!!! You had a massive meconium poop all over both of us. It was kind of adorable.

It was obvious you were a big boy and we all made guesses on your weight. Some were high 9’s others were over 10lbs. I think I guessed 10lbs exactly. You ended up weighing 9 lbs 15 ounces. I decided it was close enough and I was claiming 10lbs. You were such a bundle of love.

The next few hours were clean up and resting and holding and kissing. I moved into the bedroom. Lindsay helped me go to the bathroom and I put on a giant adult diaper and a frozen witch hazel pad.

I laid in bed, in shock. You were here. Active labor was really only 4hrs. The sun was still out. I felt really good. Not sleep deprived. I was a mother of two.  Was I really not pregnant anymore?

Who can deny childbirth is a miracle?

I was so transformed by both of my children’s births.  I have no choice but to have complete respect and honor for my body and what it can do. The love and attachment I felt for you the moment you were born is mind blowing. Immediately you are someone I felt such an intimate connection with. I am not sure why, despite all of my faults and shortcomings, I am blessed with the family I have. Fairbanks, despite any of my mistakes you were created and grew and were born and are perfect. It is impossible for you to be anything but perfect. And I wonder…why me? Why did you choose me? How am I worthy?

They say being born in the caul, as you were, is a sign of good fortune. Being born this way brings good luck and supposedly natural healing abilities. To me, my sweet boy, you are my good luck. My good fortune. You were meant to be part of our family…and now that you are I feel abundantly wealthy.

Sometimes, even now, two and a half weeks later, I am still in disbelief you are here. I have to look at us in the mirror with you balled up on my chest to remind myself it really did happen. I wonder if I will feel like that for the rest of my life…amazed that you are mine. I have a feeling I will.


(Eternal thanks to Lindsay, our midwife. We are all madly in love with her. I have a midwife post coming soon!)

Fairbanks Mitchell Porter


You're here.


One week old today.

I know I have a newborn..because I am walking around the house holding one but honestly I am still in shock. So you're here. Did that happen in a flash for anybody else?

Maybe it was you being 4 days early. Or the fact that this labor was WAY shorter than your sisters. Or maybe because you came right in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday...when people are out riding bikes and having picnics...and there I was holding my lucky charm.

I am excited to share your birth story but it will have to wait a little bit longer as I process.

Here are some notable facts about your birthday:

You were born on March 30th, 2013, in the water at home at 3:23pm on a Saturday with light streaming through the family room windows. You weighed just under 10lbs (9lbs 15 ounces)...so I am claiming 10lbs. Besides the fact that you were were healthy and perfect, the 2nd most extraordinary occurrence was you being born in the caul! Meaning part of the water sac still covering your head and face as you came out. This is supposedly extremely rare and is said it brings good luck and well as being an indication of you being a natural healer. I just think it's pretty cool. You are welcome for the super strong water sac.

So much more to say...but will have to wait a bit longer.

My sweet sweet Fairbanks. It feels so normal to have you here with us. From the first moment I held you and fed you it seemed like we had been doing it for ages.

Your sister Nova tells you at least 30 times a day that she loves you. Not joking. If you don't grow up to have the worlds best self esteem than I will be shocked. You are showered with love from all of us.

Nova begs to hold you and one of the very first times she did she broke out in song..."edelweiss, edelweiss....clean and bright, clean and bright". My heart melted into a million pieces.

She pats your back and tells you it's OK and kisses you every chance she gets. She asks for you when she wakes up and if she ever has been away from you. She wants you to always come with her outside, or on errands or to her bedroom. She is bonkers for you.

Sometimes when she is holding you, you swat at her face and she laughs and says "funny baby bruda!". She is your biggest fan.

I even think she sees you and I as the same person now. Loving one of us is loving both of us...and that makes sense. We are pretty much one.

I have probably held you 99% of your life so far. And that seems right.

Even when I have to set you down or let someone else hold you...I wish I could keep you. You have taken all of your sleeps in my arms except for a few you have had with Dad.

Since you weighed more at birth I think you sleep more soundly because of it. We had a 5hr stretch your first night and since then all we do is wake and feed and then you fall back asleep on me for anywhere from 2-4hrs. Sure my sleep is interrupted but in any given night I get at least 6hrs of on and off sleep. That is a win in my book.

Since your labor and birth were quicker than Nova's the healing as been much milder..and I have felt really good. No extreme exhaustion or pain or physically weird stuff. Maybe it also has something to do with my body having done it before. I am grateful.

Of course when you give birth you have some gnarly hormone drops in the days following the birth, tears are shed and I wonder if I am being the best mom possible for you. I know it is all part of the normal order of things...and you don't expect me to be a robot.

Since you are little but not SO little...I want to dress you in all your littlest clothes before you grow right out of them. Really there is no reason for a newborn to be dressed and I want as much skin to skin with you as possible but those tiny onesies call to me.

You rarely open your eyes. Like practically never. It's so cute. Nova was super wide eyed from the moment she was born...but you are the opposite. Sleepy and content to wait a bit longer to see what is beyond you and I. I don't mind being your eyes as long as you like.

Grandma and Grandpa Thurston have been here helping to take care of us and it has been so nice.

I loved the way you felt moving inside of me pregnant and it always takes me a while to believe that I am not pregnant anymore...I always am left feeling a little hollow and confused....but when I hold you against me every once in a while I recognize your movements. Your strong kicks and sensitive knee jerk movements. It is super comforting.

You are a pro eater! My milk came in day 2 and we haven't slowed down. It is an adjustment (mainly for my body..ouch) but you are doing such a great job! You poop and pee like you a professional. I think on day 3 we changed 7 diapers. I had no idea a newborn could poop this much. I am a proud mama bear.

Speaking of bears...I like to call you my lil bear....but really I call you Fairbanks most of the time. Banksy is another nickname and I am sure more will come. For now I am OK with you just being my "baby".

I already find myself regretting the days that pass not wanting you to grow up and knowing from experience that I can't stop it. It's like being on a train ride where every view out the window is the most beautiful thing you have ever laid eyes on and then in a flash it is gone but replaced with an equally beautiful sight.

It's heartbreaking loving this much. My heart breaks over and over again for you and your sister.

I was reminded of these words by Kahlil Gibran these last few weeks:

"To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully."

To me this is what being a parent is...or at least being a mother. I know, and still walk fiercely into it. It takes being brave in a way I never knew I would have to be.

So much more is in store for us as you help me become a mother and I help you become a man.

My sweet baby boy. I am so blessed to call you mine.

Love, Mom