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today, i am 33 years old. it feels good.

this day last year was one of my most vulnerable days on this earth. madalena and beatrice were just a few weeks old, and we were doing test after test at the hospital for one of my baby girls after she’d gotten a high fever in the middle of the night before my birthday (let me insert hear before getting any further that she ended up being totally fine, thank the Lord – but we didn’t know that going into our 2 day hospital stay). when i shared a little bit on my instagram after we arrived home, i was met with a lot of comments and DM’s like “you’re a terrible mother...” and “maybe if you hadn’t done [this or that]…” and also “you’re so tone deaf and full of yourself you can’t even see that this is your fault. she got sick because of you.”  

while i’ve prided myself to never put much weight into the comments and opinions of others in general – because the over the top #goals and #you’rePerfect comments from others are just as dangerous and damaging to soak in as the #youSuck and #weHateYou comments – and you definitely cannot base your own self worth on what someone else is writing/saying/thinking about you, i wasn’t able to cope with it last year on this day. i was already thinking and believing all of these bad things about myself, and seeing them in writing just made it all the more real. i remember laying on the floor in the hallway of our apartment all by myself with this pit in my stomach repeating the words, i am a terrible mother to myself. i didn’t feel worthy of being anyone’s mom. i felt my kids deserved so much better.

it took me longer than i’d like to admit to pull myself out of that spot mentally. a really long time. like months where i still didn’t feel deserving of anything i’d been given but especially of taking care of my kids because i allowed myself to believe i wasn’t a good mom.

365 days later, here is my birthday once again. this year, in my head, it doesn’t feel as dark and vulnerable a place. i’ll still make mistakes in the coming year, i’ll doubt myself on occasion and it’ll be valid because i’m not perfect. people will still talk and comment crappy things about me, my mothering, my life, even my hair (lol, bless them). and because i’m human, i am sure there will be times where it’ll sting and i’ll feel crushed. but only for a moment. because at the end of the day, there is no longer any room in my headspace to give it much thought after that. because i’ve found a personal rhythm inside my head over the last several months that i have longed for in the past. where i’m not carrying things that don’t need constant carrying, where i love the strong parts of my body and the softer squishier parts, too. where the make up, the false eyelashes, the walls have come off and down, and i’m okay going out the door into the world without any of it.

i’m still working on a lot of things. i’m still evolving and discovering and learning so much. but this birthday already feels a lot better than last year’s, and that has nothing to do with today’s itinerary but everything to do with my own headspace.

cheers to these moments in life where you can finally look yourself in the mirror with the bedhead and no make up and tired eyes, with the extra baby weight still holding onto your gut an entire year later and not a single ab in sight – but you like what you see… because you have taken the time, the self-care, the self-love to get there.

33. i like myself. i know myself. i’m a good mama, wife, friend. i’m imperfect. i’m still learning. but i know what is important and what isn’t. i’m eating the donuts and i’m prioritizing skin protection. i’m cuddling my babies close and letting go of the dumb grudges. i’m finding confidence in my role as a daughter of God. i’m seeking out the comfortable shoe over the cuter one. i’m thankful. i’m happy. i’m trying. today, i’m 33.

for those interested, the blouse i am wearing is no longer available in this color, but it is still available in this color! (it’s still on sale! i’m wearing it here in LA last week.)

The post another year around the sun. appeared first on Love Taza.

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on may 28th, these beauties turned one, officially! you can catch my birthday post here with a few of my favorite photos from the hospital last year, but today’s post is all about their birthday celebration!

we had originally planned to host a little cake smashing party in central park on madalena’s and beatrice’s big day, but ofcourse the weather forecast was thunderstorms all day long. in all honesty, it was nice having it inside at our apartment, though. didn’t have to haul all the party supplies to the park and was nice to just have lots of little friends playing with toys and running about before and after the cake smashing.

as for the party, we kept things very relaxed and simple.  i made tiny cakes for each of the girls the morning of and josh filled the apartment with balloons. we kept the treats low-key too with fruit and cookies and sparkling drinks, but perhaps the highlight of the spread (and maybe for me personally as a sugar lover?!) were the tiny jars of edible cookie dough from . kristen and her team at dō are the sweetest too, because while i was ordering the cookie dough, they were like, this is our gift to the baby girls! and the gesture meant so much. so many have been rather generous with their time and support and gifts this last year as we’ve welcomed these beautiful girls into our lives and i hope they all know what it has meant to me. sometimes it is hard to be on the receiving end of such support because i want to do it myself and i struggle asking for help (i’ve been trying to be better), but people have swooped in countless times this year with meaningful gestures and i have so appreciated the thoughtfulness, kind words and support.

lots of photos below, some of which my friend amanda snapped and i feel forever grateful (case in point of what i’m trying to say in the paragraph above… i’m trying to multitask and snap a couple of photos during the party and she comes and takes my camera from me and LOOK AT THESE PHOTOS!!!) and, we had ashley lauren come and capture video for madalena and beatrice to have someday. from the longer film we made of the party she also pulled together a shorter 1 minute video clip of a little bit of the party and cake smashing which you can also watch below.

madalena's and beatrice's FIRST birthday party! - YouTube

for those who have asked about the birthday crowns, i found them on amazon and i am just as surprised as you probably are that these girlies kept them on during a good portion of the party!

for party favors, we tied a little string around pairs of pink peonies with little notes that eleanor hand wrote saying, thank you for helping me grow and blossom this year! eleanor actually spent quite some time on these sweet notes, making each one different doing some block letters, some letters with curls, some cursive and some 3D styled notes as well. i think her darling final touches really brought these little thank you party favors to life!

i was very nervous if these little cakes would turn out because i didn’t have the right size mini round cake pan that fit these mini cake stands, so i made a sheet cake and then used the top of a drinking glass to cut circles into the cake the size that i needed. it was a good idea until i had to begin frosting, and then a lot of the cake began crumbling into the frosting since it didn’t have the proper outside seal. nothing some extra frosting and a lot of sprinkles couldn’t help me out with though. ;)

my beautiful beatrice in pink!

and my sweet madalena in white.

to be honest, celebrating the one year mark with 2 babies felt like a party for every single one of our immediate family members. i hugged josh and the kids extra that morning being like, your patience and understanding and help is why we are all still alive! thank you thank you thank you!

some close ups of the adorable tiny jars of edible cookie dough from   i mentioned up above! they put stickers with pictures of the girls on the tops of the lids of different flavors which made the jars so freaking cute! i have always been such a hardcore fan of their signature chocolate chip cookie dough and didn’t think i’d ever like another flavor beyond that one, but i found myself throwing a bunch of the oatmeal m&m jars into the back of the fridge for later after i tried one during the party! is that so bad to admit?!

time for some cake smashing! we did this seperately with beatrice and madalena and it was very sweet to see how each one sort of went at the cake in their own way! beatrice knew she didn’t want to share any, giving her brother the sweetest and most subtle head shake no when samson asked if he could have a bite! madalena enjoyed smashing it so much, some cake went flying up in the air as she did so. these girls are just the sweetest.

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it’s been a bit since we’ve done a good old blog post with an outfit and no babies in my arms! feels nice having arms and hands free (but what do i do with my hands?!) and i really like this outfit so i’m excited to get this one going.

so let’s start with a bit of a back story to this look. maybe it’s not necessary but i don’t know, i feel inclined to share it.  if you know me, you know how much i love color. and usually, more than just a pop of color. i’m like, let’s mix a couple of colors and even ones that don’t necessarily go together! i have often felt most like myself when it comes to getting dressed when mixing all the patterns and prints and colors whenever possible.  so i myself was a little surprised to find myself up when the apartment was finally sleeping a few weeks ago doing late night internet searches for a simple white t-shirt …without any frills or peplum or sequins stitched anywhere in sight. i ordered a bunch of different brands, different necklines, different price points. i found one i love, and it’s the one i kept and will probably live in all summer long. paired with some high waisted blue jeans that hold me in at all the right places but are loose and moveable enough to get me through the day without feeling like hot sticky denim in summer. pairing the look with my most trusted and comfortable mama sandals and ten dollar sunglasses that i don’t have to stress over when my babies are grabbing at them throughout the day.  it’s strange to note that this dressed down simplistic look also feels most like me.

i still threw in a pop of color with my tote bag and pink lip, because it wouldn’t feel perfectly right otherwise. ;) also, a hat since there was no time for hair washing today or yesterday, or the day before yesterday (i did shower this morning, don’t worry! i’ve been using a natural deoderant for over a year now and while it’s pretty great, it definitely isn’t a miracle stick! showers have to happen every single day.)

so this look… i’m calling it my summer mama uniform. complete with my tiny stack of name rings on my right hand so even when i have my arms and hands free of babies,  i still have them a little bit close by.

and since it’s summertime and i’m not about to head out into the sun without a decent amount of sunblock, i wanted to share the final uniform ingredient – this organic self tanning lotion which is freaking amazing. my friend emily recommended it on her blog and since it’s the first i have come across that isn’t full of parbens, perfums or other toxins and chemicals (most tanning products are!), i snatched some up so fast and have been so very pleased with the glow it’s giving. i don’t mind my pale skin but i have really loved the way the sunshine brings out my freckles and gives a nice bronzing look to my skin tone in the past. but now that i’m more aware of how terrible laying out in the sunshine can truly be, i was happy to find a safe alternative so i thought i’d share! (by the way, i don’t use a tanning mit to apply it, i just apply with my hands after i shower and then i wash my hands afterwards!)

let’s get to some photos, shall we?!

i have shared my name rings before but for those who may have missed it they are from this shop. the ring is the custom name ring with a hammered band (in font F63) in sterling silver and all the letters on my rings are lower case.

and my black heart shaped sunglasses are from here and $10.

teva sandals, similar style available here and also here.

was taking a photo on my phone of one of my favorite brownstones in the neighborhood when josh caught this amazing angle. ;)

what does your summer uniform consist of?

for those interested:
white t-shirt (linked), blue denim jeans (linked), teva sandals (similar here and here), similar hat (linked), stack of name rings on my finger (linked), $10 heart shaped sunglasses (linked), and lip color (linked – fyi, i like to mix and middle pinks in that lip palette together!) and self tanning lotion i mentioned above (linked.)

have a great weekend!

The post for summer: a mama uniform! appeared first on Love Taza.

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it was very messy and a little bit sticky, but we had a pretty incredible time strawberry picking the other day about an hour and a half outside of the city at alstede farms in new jersey. i intentionally wore a black t-shirt (this isn’t my first rodeo as a mama on a berry farm!) and brought back up onesies for the baby girls – although truth be told, i keep seeing that tie-dye has totally made a comeback this year in fashion and i mean, these two just wanted a chance to be a part of that DIY tie-dye trend. :) they did a pretty great job, if you ask me. see for yourself in the photos below.

strawberry picking is such a fun experience with kids. eleanor, samson and conrad took their little tupperware containers and bolted into those fields on a mission! i wish they picked up toys in the playroom at the speed they picked up strawberries! it was impressive. madalena and beatrice enjoyed sampling almost every single berry in sight. (strawberries are currently their very favorite food, so they were in heaven!) and papa enjoyed being outside in full on shade thanks to his new sun hat that literally casts shade on him and like, anyone within a 12 foot perimeter (okay, maybe not to that extent)… but the man likes his shade and if it wasn’t evident before, i think it’s pretty apparent now that he and i both have entered that stage of life where we get really excited about things like the amount of sun protection your hat is casting off, in addition to stuff like getting all the laundry folded BEFORE the laundry basket fills back up, or remembering to order toilet paper before we run out. also, early bedtimes for all including both him and me. life is so exciting over here, people. look at us!

ok, but back to the strawberries! i was telling our kids in the car ride out to the farm about how strawberry season reminds me of my pregnant belly with my mister samson. i hold this berry picking session with baby eleanor and my 9 month baby bump of samson very close to my heart. he showed up less than a week afterwards and his special birth experience – plus those last few days of eating pretty much only delicious strawberries leading up to it – makes for a special spot in my heart for this time of year, strawberry season and samson’s arrival into this world. it blows my freaking mind to be back out there on a strawberry field all these years later with all five of my most special of blessings called my beautiful children surrounding me in our little row of strawberries. with strawberry juice jammed into my shoes and even inside my bra (these babies be grabby!), this right here is more than i dared to dream of. i’m getting side-tracked again.

back to the strawberries! a bajillion photos below. please indulge me and scroll til the end because i really love each one, but the last ones, too!  …i know there are many, i just had to share them all. did i mention yet i love strawberry picking?! (ps. here is a video we made strawberry picking a few years ago when conrad was 6 months old and E and S feel like babies, too!)

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with the warm weather upon us (and the splashpad waters officially turned on until the beginning of september), i wanted to share a post with some of our favorite things to do in new york city during the summer months with children! since this is often a frequently asked question this time of year with many of you heading this way to visit, i hope you can find this information helpful! this place comes alive during the summer months, and it’s my favorite place to be, albeit hot and sticky and sometimes very crowded. ;) so here are 36 (or so?) things to do in new york city this summer!

summer in NYC with kids: what not to miss!
  • top of my list would be central park! you could spend an entire day here and still not cover everything the park has to offer…  a few of our family’s favorite things include the granite slide (at the billy johnson playground, just north of the central park zoo), riding bikes around the lower loop (we like to pause at bethesda fountain for an ice cream break and hopefully catch the bubble man who often is out around that area), or renting and taking a boat out at the loeb boat house (also by bethesda fountain).  there are a number of playgrounds in the park, as well as free concerts offered including some by the nyphilharmonic orchestra which often end with fireworks (at least on the first night). the met opera will also be performing in the park (as well as other parks in the city all summer long! more info here.) and because we love centrak park so much, here is a little video guide we made a few years ago (when conrad was in my belly!) that highlights all of our favorite things in the park. everything in that guide is still relevant!
  • i mentioned biking in central park, but riverside park and the bike paths along the hudson river are also so much fun. you can rent bikes and also children’s bike seats or trailers at several places in the city or try citibikes which are everywhere. if you bike along the hudson river, check out pier 25 at hudson river park which has some fun water features and a fun playground that works for all ages. a short walk from pier 25 is one of our family’s favorite restaurants (and spot to grab pancakes!), bubby’s, you can get some fun silly photos taken in their old black and white film photobooth in the basement afterwards, too.
  • on particularly hot and humid days, this city has some incredible museums worth exploring. (best air conditioning ever!). our personal favorite is the american museum of natural history which has a great kids discovery room (be sure to check the hours each day). the met is also a great one (the rooftop has such a beautiful view of the park and city skyline) and the children’s museum of art has really awesome drop-in art classes for the entire family for a small fee (it includes singing time and their singing time cannot be beat!)
  • speaking of museums, the new york aquarium has a new shark exhibit that is supposed to be really exciting. we haven’t been yet, but it’s on our summer list for a rainy or super hot day where we can’t be outside.
  • governor’s island is a quick ferry ride away from manhattan and you can rent bikes (even tandem or 6-seater surrey bikes!) to explore the island. they have an incredible slide set up on one side and food trucks near a playground in the middle. but possibly the best attraction in our opinion is the kids junkyard playground which is designed to encourage risk-taking, experimentation and freedom through self directed play – only children are allowed inside! it’s full of hammers, saws, nails – it’s amazing. they do have a few play-workers inside to help the kids if needed, but the kids really do well on their own and our children have not stopped talking about it. i can’t recommend it enough!
  • coney island is always a good time and worth the experiences at least once! if you can swing it on a week day, we’ve found the lines and crowds to be much more managable. have always wanted to be there to witness the hot dog eating contest! someday…
  • speaking of hot dogs, let’s talk more about food and get to the good stuff….  ice cream! summer is our favorite for ice cream crawls around the city! honestly any kind of food crawl is the way to go in my book, but ice cream is something our entire family can get behind. here is a little video we did of an ice cream crawl a few summers back, but some of our spots include emack and bolio’s on the upper west side, ample hills (the ooey gooey butter cake can’t be topped!) and morgenstern’s (who’s newest location on houston street boasts 88 flavors! the cookies and cream milk shake is actually what we love most there.)
  • the brooklyn bridge pop up pool opens up the end of the month for the summer! the pool capacity is 60 people, so it’s first come first served for 45 minute swim sessions. there is also a great (though very small) outdoor pool at vesuvio playground that will also open up at the end of the month. it’s around the corner from dominique ansel’s bakery, so you can enjoy a cronut while your little ones swim! :)
  • there are several great splashpads for kids around the city, and almost every playground offering some kind of water sprinkler as well during the hot months. our favorite splashpads are at hippo playground on the upper west side (a lot of great shade at this one!) as well as the roof terrace of the american museum of natural history. in brooklyn, pier 6 has a great set up during the summer. we have also enjoyed the splashpad in prospect park at the lefrak center.
  • speaking of splashpads, domino park in williamsburg has an incredible water set up (although no shade! so be sure to come prepped with hats/sunscreen/etc). there is a great playground set up beside it with a taco shop in between so you really cannot go wrong.
  •  hudson river parks offers a free movie night for families on friday nights during the summer. you can find the movie showings schedule here. and not as kid friendly, but rooftop cinema club shows old movies on the rooftop during summer nights as well. more info here.
  • during the first three saturdays in august here in the city, our family looks forward to summer streets, where almost 7 milkes of nyc streets are shut off to cars and open to the public to walk and bike along. it’s a lot of fun!
  • and we are anxious to go see the goats that were just released in the northern part of riverside park a few weeks ago for the summer. they were released by the riverside park conservancy for the summer from a local farm to help with the sloped terrain full of weeds and invasive plants! we are hoping to spot a few in the park this summer.
  • a few fun places to point out that little ones might enjoy are alice’s tea cup for a tea party (complete with fairy wings and a fairy dusting of sparkles as you sit down!), popbar in the village (who can resist having your popsicle of choice dipped in all sorts of chocolate and toppings)! samson is particularly fond of dylan’s candy bar on the east side (it’s where we like to go on mama-son dates to put together a candy bag). we also can never say no to some rice pudding from rice to riches (so many flavors to choose from!) down in nolita. and last but not least, an ice cream sandwich made out of edible cookie dough (or how about just a bowl full of edible cookie dough, yeah!?) at DŌ!
  • if you’re here around the end of summer, we really enjoy the US Open each year. we take the kids to a day match during one of the earlier days of the tournament, but they also have a family day during the opening weekend with a lot of fun activities centered around the little ones on the tennis grounds.

PS- here is a printable map covering all the elevators for the subways if you have a stroller! and here is a post with more tips and tricks for anyone visiting new york and looking for info on taking taxi cabs with car seats, broadway shows, etc. as well as this post on dining out in the city with little ones!

if you love anything in nyc over the summer that i missed, please share with others in the comments below!

The post 36 things to do in nyc this summer with kids! appeared first on Love Taza.

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it’s a week of birthdays over here and i absolutely love it. today we got to celebrate my ever so sweet and handsome samson rex who turned 7 years old! we had birthday candles in cookie dough at the breakfast table this morning before present opening and then again at his hibachi dinner tonight at one of his favorite restaurants. on the way home, he mentioned he didn’t make any birthday wishes before blowing out his candles and i was like, but whyyyy! and then he told me he is saving his wish for saturday when he has his birthday party with his friends. i thought it was so cute he didn’t want to wish three times… just saving his wish (which he actually told me by giving me a tiny clue and i almost died it was so freaking cute) to use just once during his final candle blowing session over the weekend. bless his heart, he is a keeper.

i shared on my instagram some of my favorite photos over the years of my samson and some words. wanted to share those thoughts here as well.

samson is a party! everyone who knows him will agree. he just has a smile, a personality and a light that draws you to him. i love how samson is always looking out for and thinking of those around him. he wants everyone to feel included and he goes out of his way to make sure that is always the case. without fail, he greets me every single morning with the most genuine and heartfelt hug. it honestly puts a lump in the back of my throat more often than not because i can’t get over the amount of love he shows and how much it means to me day after day. if i ask him to help with something he (very almost always!) drops whatever it is he might be doing and replies happily, “got it, mama!” we have yet to find a sport he can’t do well – he loves anything physical and athletic and is always working to beat his own time and records whenever we are at the playground or park doing something we’ve done before. he loves himself some good japanese food and will snack on raw vegetables like a boss. i have enjoyed seeing him excel in school this year, taking responsibility and working so hard on his homework each afternoon even when he’d rather not. he has a contagious laugh, an unbelievable year round tan, a determination to do things well and such a sensitive and loving spirit that i know will continue to bring joy to those he comes in contact with in this life. i love you so much, Samson Rex! happy birthday to my beautiful boy.

ps. still my favorite birthday video of him from his first year.

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may 28th, 2018. i have thought about this day, at least once a day (if not numerous times a day) since that day. it was a day that started with a lot of unknown, a lot of nerves, a lot pain. it was a day where i decided i should probably shower – which looking back now, am so thankful for, since it had been 4 or 5 days since my last one and would be another 4 or 5 days before i was able to get another following my baby girls’ births (ironically enough, it was only about an hour after i showered that my contractions came on like fire and we were on our way to the hospital). it was a day where the city felt quiet, the hospital halls and elevators were unoccupied, and me – with my insulated cup full of crushed ice that i refused to let out of my sight – kept looking around thinking, but where iiiiisssss everyone?! …it really did feel eerily unpopulated in a horror movie kind of way.

but when i think back to this day as time has carried on, i mostly just feel a tremendous sense of gratitude. here we are, 365 days later. an entire year has passed. there are moments where it has felt like an eternity. that this birth took place 5 billion years ago and we are surely in our 80s by now. but in a funny way, it still feels like it was just a few minutes ago that both my girls were placed in my arms for the very first time. taking in their smell, their soft skin, our first feeding together.

each of my birth experiences, while so very different from one another, has taken up residency in my head where nothing can go near, nothing can write over the memories, the smells, the little details of those minutes around their arrivals. it’s as though an outer castle wall has been built around these precious little moments and while i can’t even remember what we ate yesterday or where i put my keys last, i am so thankful these moments have found a safe place to reside where i can revisit them frequently. i can see the clock in the wall, i can hear the doctor’s voice. i can vividly make out each of my baby’s pouty little expressions and long stretched fingers as they reach out and breath in their very first breath. these moments are among the most sacred moments i have experienced on this earth, and it is difficult to articulate how they have changed me. but change me they have. and for the better. with a heart full of gratitude – for knowing them, for being in this role of mother for them, i feel immensely blessed.

these beautiful girls have taught me so much. i’ve been jotting down notes late at night on my phone over the past few weeks as i started writing each of them a personalized birthday letter and while it surprises me how far the three of us have come in this one year span together- i am mostly amazed at how much i still had to learn this year in this role (and even more learning in the future, i am sure) even though this role has been one i took ownership of over 8 years ago when eleanor first made me a mother. it’s been a year. but it’s been a really really good one.

i am saving my little letters for the girls to read on their own someday, but because i am a mama and a mama who loves to share, i want to tell you a few things i love about each of my beautiful girls.

i love madalena’s determination. she is going to do incredible things in life as she cultivates her will and desire to find a way to do whatever it is she has her mind set up to do. she is strong. she is curious. she reaches for and finds her sister’s hand frequently and tries to hold it. she has a chuckle that sounds part serious, part old soul and i really really love hearing that chuckle. with the sweetest big gap between her two front teeth and a head full of swooping curls in the back, this girl is such a beauty. she reaches out towards anyone and sends a friendly wave in their direction. she has spent a large part of her first year with a pacifier in her mouth and a second pacifier clutched in her hand as back up. she doesn’t even blink when her sister beatrice (who does not use a pacifier herself) takes her first pacifier away from her- she just plops in her second pacifier and continues on like nothing ever happened. something i love about madalena is the look of pride and love she gets on her face when she sees her older siblings.  she adores them to the core. but what i have really loved observing about this sweet baby girl during her first year is the relationship she has formed with her papa. if he’s in the room, she wants to be in his arms, no one else’s. he’ll come through the door and she crawls at lightening speed in his direction. she loves to be carried in the baby carrier by him, and she likes to touch and hold his beard. i have loved and appreciated her cuddles, her open mouth kisses when i haven’t even asked for a kiss. i have loved and appreciated her patience at times where she has taken her pacifier and just chilled while i nursed her sister first. and i have really loved and appreciated the way she can drop it and shake it and dance like no one is watching. girlfriend has moves and i cannot get enough of them!

i love beatrice’s sweet temperament. she stays calm and cool and collected at almost all times.  if she catches your eye, she’ll bust out the biggest smile you ever did see, often lifting up a shoulder and resting her head to the side while doing so. she just loves to smile and i love seeing her smile. i love how she clasps her hands together in the most daintiest and proper way in her highchair while patiently waiting for her dinner. i have appreciated the way she has laughed at my attempts to make silly faces or sounds or moves.  beatrice has such a sensitive spirit, the loudest sound or raised voice will frighten and upset her and has helped our family reset and prioritize how we communicate and interact with one another. beatrice is crazy smart, observing and watching you do something and then doing it just so. it blows my mind how she does this. she is also comfortable and confident in playing on her own, wandering our apartment by herself and just independently keeping herself entertained.  she chats and sings frequently during the day, occasionally with her arms behind her head in a relaxing sort of position that brings out the biggest laughs from her siblings (especially samson). she kicks her legs in excitement whenever she sees someone she loves. she loves to spit out water like a fountain and i feel like i am frequently fishing something out of the back of her mouth, she’ll find the most random little things and just hold onto them in her cheek as the day goes by. i don’t know how we haven’t had any close calls with choking because that girl likes to hide lots of tiny things in her cheek. i love her laugh. it is just contagious and brings such joy. she has the biggest and most beautiful grin, with eyes that smile as well and make your heart wanna melt. and i love seeing her mind at work, whatever it is she might be doing. she can open up anything, she has incredible fine motor skills and she likes using her fingers to unlatch her sister when they are both nursing at the same time which really bothers her sister (mostly because after she unlatches her she dives in and tries to steal her milk instead.)  gosh, i just adore my little beatrice.

and while i have you here, i want to publicly express that the girls and i would not have survived this first year without the army of people behind us giving ample support and encouragement and love. from my husband josh who has done literally everything while i’ve slept less than i ever have, to the stranger on the subway train going out of their way to help me with my double stroller. it takes a village, or a city in this case, and i have felt it. every single day, i have felt it. so thank you so very much.

happy birthday to my beautiful beatrice and beautiful madalena! thank you for making me your mama. i love you, forever and ever.

photos by my dear friend amanda petersen.

also, photos from when eleanor, samson and conrad met their new sisters for the very first time.

The post one year ago, today. appeared first on Love Taza.

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doing my best to haul out the big camera on the regular nights, between big birthdays or holidays or other significant events that always warrant a fancier way of documentation. i used to bring it out all the darn time, but then i don’t know what happened, somewhere between my arms getting a little bit full of babies and the camera phones improving so drastically, it sometimes sits on the shelf more than i’d like.  i’m a firm believer that any sort of capture is the right and perfect kind of capture, be it a camera phone, a shaky video, whatever! just document however and whenever you can! but i do frequently fall back in love with my proper canon camera after taking her out around the city with my family.

we wandered down to nolita on monday night for pizza and a playground. it had been a chaotic day and i had this strong desire to get out of the neighborhood for dinner. does that ever happen to you? it happens to me on occasion where i am like, we need to get outta here and go somewhere else.  i love the upper west side so much, so that feels strange to say… but anyway, our monday nights have slowly turned into pizza night (followed up by tacos on tuesday – hey! taco tuesday! hey! – which i am so sick of but our kids live for!)… we hadn’t been to rubirosa’s for pizza in ages, although it’s still one of our favorites, so we found ourselves ordering a couple of pies to go and enjoyed them at a nearby playground.

by the way, here is a map of the city with our 5 favorite pizza spots if you’re looking for good pizza in new york. these places still top our search, only adding made in new york pizza on the upper west side to the bunch because they have that amazing spicy square pepperoni slice like prince street pizza but more seating for family and also not the crazy long lines. and while the pizza is amazing, we really enjoy the meatballs at motorino on the upper west side as well.  ANYWAY!

a little photo diary from monday…

i shared a video on my instagram of madalena climbing up the big slide! she is such a climber and never stops!

taking a break from playing to read some books from his school book baggie. this was such a sweet moment for me to see. cannot believe my samson is turning 7 next week!

hello sweet beatrice!

last february when eleanor and i went to paris, we bought the baby girls these little mouse moccasins at a darling little french children’s boutique and it’s been fun to see them wearing them since it is something we picked out together on our trip.

conrad hopped up to the window and waved and smiled so big at the people eating inside the restaurant they waved back! he was very excited to hop back down and run over and tell me he made new friends. i wanna be more like conrad.

maybe one of my favorite photos of the family ever. so much going on, and i love it.

i had a lot of messages about my sandals on instagram so for those who might have missed them in my IG stories, these are tevas and i love them for long walking days in the city. they have held up well too as i’ve owned them for a few years now. i don’t need a new pair right now but when i do, i really love these red ones.

more leather brown options here and here.

my beautiful madalena.

and the next series of photos of my kids sum each of them up perfectly!

just like at home, when we all end up on mama’s bed and don’t wanna spread out to other areas of the apartment, we all ended up hanging out on the very same slide towards the end of our time at the playground. lol. it’s so funny how that happens.

thanks for looking through the photos with me! have a great weekend, everyone!

ps. i know many of you have emailed and messaged about my blouse. it’s an oldie from anthropologie several years ago so unfortunately i don’t have a link for you! if i come across anything similar in the future, i’ll be sure to share.

The post monday night, family night – pizza and playground edition. appeared first on Love Taza.

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these are the days. where we’re staying alive thanks to caffeine (well, me. josh finds green salads energizing for some odd reason) and just really proud of the fact that we’ve kept the kids alive, too.

these are the days where we tag teamed changing a dirty diaper on sunday and between two adult parents who have done this a few thousand times before, it still somehow found a way to climb up her tummy (backwards blowout?!) and touch like everything within arms reach and then everything in the other room, too.

the days of finding odd white spots all over conrad’s hair as we’re sitting in sacrament meeting in church (turns out he had an exciting playdate with mama’s dry shampoo minutes before we left which i feel like is a level down from paint, so not-so-bad? but the not-so-bad probably gets canceled out by the fact that i didn’t notice it until much later into our morning).

the days of tiny messes in every single room of the apartment – even though we did clean at some point in the past 12 hours – and kids negotiating the why of making a bed they’ll just unmake the next time they see it. (they do have a point.)

it’s the days where i’m getting a little tired of the daily school grind as summer is arriving…just gotta keep the eye on the prize for these final 6 weeks til summer recess.

the days where mama has come to acknowledge that her nursing journey with the baby girls, while i have loved and clinged to it, and felt immense joy and bonding through it, will need to come to an earlier end than she anticipated after the baby girls’ first birthdays, as it’s also slowly killing her this time around even though that is hard for her to admit. (actually had to calendar an official date in mid june for myself so i have time to mentally prepare myself for the wean after some travel in june. why is this so hard for me?)

the days of me hiding my phone in other rooms in the apartment so it doesn’t control and dictate my limited free-time when the house is quiet and i should be sleeping (that instagram-sucked-into-the-never-ending-scroll-habit, be gone!).

these are the days. filled with little bodies laughing and crying at some point in a 24 hour period. where i feel immense joy in the walls of our small apartment, be it cluttered and chaotic at basically all hours. where i look around myself and feel ready to pinch my arm, as cliché as it sounds. we’re healthy. we’re happy. we’re maybe disheveled, in need of a nap and a teeny tiny bit in survival mode, but i’ll never get over that these people belong to me.

PS- because a blog post is not complete without photos, how sweet are josh and conrad playing “diner!”?! they do this rather often together and i finally grabbed the camera and snapped a few photos! i feel like i really got my fries for a real bargain of a price of $100 last time i ate at “conrad’s diner.” josh says conrad gave a bill for “21-1000-1,000,000-100-36…all those numbers!” conrad’s diner must be in new york city! whatever the bill, i will never get over that bridge of freckles over that sweet little dude’s nose! bless his heart.

for those interested, here is the diner set we own, similar wooden food toys and the kids cash register.

The post these are the days. appeared first on Love Taza.

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a few photos from saturday morning, after gardening on the upper west side, seeking out our favorite pancakes in tribeca, a lengthy stretch of time parked at the playgroud swings and sandbox at the nearby pier after, and then after walking exactly 1 mile sideways and up – in search of 88 flavors of ice cream (where most of us still ordered the simple vanilla and most basic strawberry and chocolate flavors because you know, we can be risk takers on occasion – but we like to stick to what we know best most of the time.)

more to say (i miss you, blog), so will be back soon! in the meantime, the gaps in the madalena’s and beatrice’s teeth plus a pile of the world’s best pancakes (bubby’s – forever and ever) below…

The post phone photos from a saturday in May… appeared first on Love Taza.

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