Bytes of Love

Working mommy. Startup daddy. Rascal toddlers.

Category: About us (Page 2 of 3)

626 Diapers Later

If there was ever a time when I had to put my big girl underwear on, these last 3 months were IT. We had Asher, who was born small for gestational age, has reflux, and is apparently allergic to dairy and soy. We found out about this on the day we moved to our new house and I had to pump around the clock for two weeks while formula feeding Asher so the dairy and soy could get out of my system. I was feeding or pumping 16 – 18 times per day while unpacking boxes. In addition to that, we had some major sleep regression with Dilan (still working on this), had Anil travel for work a week after we moved, and had a boat load of people over all at the same time. Some of this was planned, some of it wasn’t. That’s just life. But talk about a whirlwind of a three months!

No one really talks about not loving or being too exhausted to fully enjoy those first newborn weeks, but I am here to tell you that it’s absolutely ok if you don’t love every moment of it. Now if you’re not having fun at all, you may just have a problem. Your life isn’t going to be like that Hallmark or Gerber commercial you see and that’s fine. Even if you don’t have as much going on as we just did, you just have to remember that YOU’RE GOING TO SURVIVE. Just like we just did. All the stressful sleep and feeding habits eventually disappear and this too, shall pass.

After spending three months with the most adorable preemie sized baby boy, I felt obligated to follow up on this post I wrote for Dilan. Though we’ve been giving Asher a good dose of the second child treatment (sorry dude, comes with the rank), we still had to track what he’s been up to these last 12 weeks, so here it is:

Diaper count: 626 total
Nursing: 210 hours, for a total of 859 times
Bottle count: 198, with a freezer full of expressed, but “contaminated with soy and dairy” milk =(

Asher is growing rapidly and though he may stay small for a while, I’m confident that he’ll be just fine in the long run. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep him on track when I go back to work next week.

Work. Yikes. I absolutely love my job because it challenges my brain like nothing else does. But man, I will miss staying at home with that boy and Dilan, who stayed home on occasion. In the long run, there is nothing glamorous about staying at home with a newborn and a toddler, as I’ve said before. It’s madness. I truly appreciate everything SAHMs do and in the back of my head I keep thinking “I could never do this full-time”. Staying at home and taking care of the kids is a luxury, but not for the stay-at-home parent. It’s a luxury for the family because nothing’s nicer than coming home to a home-cooked meal, a clean house, and folded laundry. But doing it sure isn’t simple when you have kids around. I’m glad I got to do it for 12 weeks and got the family somewhat settled in. So for those of you embarking on something similar, here are my best newborn tips for those tough first few weeks:

Meals – Cook before the baby comes. Freeze some meals and pick up take-out menus beforehand. If people want to bring you food, TAKE IT. We had both sets of grandparents come visit us for a full two weeks, which was glorious. However, not everyone has the luxury of having family in nearby states, so take any and all meals that come your way. Just tell people what you want, really.

Laundry – I do at least one load every other day to keep track of laundry. Between a newborn and a two year old, it piles up quickly. Buy those pods that you can just toss in with the laundry so you don’t have to measure anything.

People – Speak up. Tell people what you want and when you want it. Most friends and family will be glad to help, but you have to tell them when it is and isn’t a good time to come over (witching hour, anyone?)

Getting out – I won’t lie. Two and a half is a tough age. Especially if there is some regression and your child is going through some developmental changes (read: lots of tantrums). It’s pretty much impossible right now for me to go anywhere with both kids, but we’ve ventured out a little bit. It just requires a lot of planning and patience, and at least 30 minutes of buffer, unless you want to be late all the time. Carry extra diapers, a boat load of wipes, at least two extra outfits per child, sippy cups, bottles, and a ton of distractions for the toddler. New books, your iPad, dollar bin toys from Target, whatever it takes.

That’s about it, guys. Wish me luck at work next week!! This corporate mama is as excited as she’s nervous. Greatness comes to those who embrace the chaos, after all. And to be completely honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way.


7 Ways to Beat the Busy

Ok, I’m not going to lie…I’ve been daydreaming of someone getting Dilan dressed in the morning while I eat a sea salt sprinkled pain au chocolat and get 10 minutes to myself. You guys know how it goes. The third trimester is just tough. You’re running at the same speed as everyone else while you’re growing an entire human being. Sounds simple, but it’s actually pretty amazing…and exhausting. On top of that, I’ve been running behind a (sometimes tantrummy) 2 year old, packing for our move in April, trying to keep things awesome at work, and getting everything ready at home for a newborn. It’s hard not to drop the ball somewhere, but instead of beating myself up about it, I know better these days. I’ve got 7 tips for how to beat the busy…whether you’re moderately busy like me, crazy busy like I hope I’ll never be, or just trying to get your everyday tasks done.

1. Plan your meals ahead. We usually plan dinners for at least the 5 work days of the week, but many times for the weekends as well. This does not mean that you have to cook religiously every day. We do “take-out Tuesdays” and pick a healthy take-out option. It breaks up the week and gives me a break as well. The hubs wants to do “Wine Wednesdays” after I give birth. See why I married him? Sounds awesome, though this mommy really wants to nurse for a while first. We’ll get there eventually. The point is that you won’t feel as stressed when you’ve planned ahead. No one wants to be HANGRY.

2. Grocery shop once a week. Having the time to shop multiple times a week sounds amazing, but we really just don’t. I do one large trip for the entire week. This obviously requires that you’ve taken care of step 1 above. Want to know something else that’s awesome? If you’ve got a Harris Teeter around, you can shop online for a small fee and they’ll bring the groceries to your car. It is by far the best thing ever and I wish every store would do this. I can see this becoming super useful with multiple kids in car seats (and diapers).

3. Simplify breakfast. As I’ve mentioned before, we make healthy smoothies almost every single morning. It’s by far the easiest breakfast you can make because you’re simply throwing ingredients into a blender and that’s about it. You can drink your smoothie on your way to work (or play) and if you get your hands on a good blender, it’s super easy to clean up too. Frozen fruits are life savers, especially during winter.  Added bonus: most toddlers dig fruits and you can sneak in veggies too! Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

4. Purge one area per week. After living in the same house for 8 years, I’ve learned one thing: crap piles up. It just does, unless you are really diligent about purging cabinets and dressers. I’ve also learned that it can take ages to get through those plastic cups that used to sit in your dorm room and the useless kitchen gadgets your mother-in-law thinks you have the time to use. The best way to get through it all is to select just one room or cabinet a week and focus on that only. I wish I had done more of this over the years. It sure would have made moving a lot easier.

5. Use a great planning tool. We love Trello. We actually did drop the ball and stopped logging freezer meals a few months ago, but we picked it right back up last weekend. We also log things like furniture findings and purchases, car maintenance, and new home to-dos. It’s great to get that stuff out of your head. Let me know if you need any Trello tips once you try it out.

6. Get house cleaning help. This one is sooo controversial. I had a tough time with it for a while because I CAN DO IT MYSELF, DARN IT! I soon came to realize that getting our house cleaned from top to bottom is one of the best investments we can make. It would take me at least 6 – 8 hours to properly clean on a weekend, but now, I get to spend time with my 2 year old and husband instead. Uh-mazing. Seriously worth considering, especially if you’ve got a household with two full-time working parents. We still clean plenty in between. Don’t believe me? This is roughly what we’re cleaning up on a daily basis and it’s plenty for me:



7. Nap while you can. Nap time is time-out for adults. It gives you a chance to re-set, maybe think about what you’ve been doing with your life, or maybe just pass out in less than 10 minutes while you drool on your pillow. I think that once you become a parent, you get to appreciate naps much more than you did before. I don’t feel bad about napping on some weekends over the last few months. I know these are some of the last few weeks that I’ll be able to since we have just one child right now. I’m a better mom when I wake up because I had a chance to calm and slow down and sometimes even snuggle up with the 2 year old. And what could be more amazing than that?

The Impatient Gender Reveal

I’m probably the most impatient person you’ll ever meet. Really. I finished college 6 months early just so I could skip to the money making phase (seemed more fun at the time). Did it work? Of course not. I graduated early and worked a retail job for the next 6 months. I also volunteered at a soup kitchen during that time. Both great experiences, because they taught me how to stay humble and kind (I try, at least). I then landed my first real job and quickly became stir-crazy again. I got into business school, but attended it part-time in the evenings, while working my full-time job. I simply didn’t have the patience to “waste” those precious early career building years by continuing my education full-time.

My impatience has decreased a lot since having a child (it kind of has to), but I still refuse to squeeze the toothpaste until the tube is entirely empty and I won’t shop at stores where the check-out lines are too long. All this impatience and stubbornness did pay off over time. I do believe you need a certain amount of it to propel you forward in life and make you realize that every single of the 1,440 minutes in the day count. Anil isn’t much better with the impatience. He quit his very comfy job to try his hand at a start-up and you’ll never see him wasting time, not even during the weekend. He’s generally better than me, though. I’m tough to beat.

So there we were at 15 weeks into my pregnancy. Two very impatient parents trying to figure out the gender of our second baby. We just had a 4D ultrasound done and asked the technician to jot down the gender on a piece of paper for us. We waited SIX HOURS to find out, by handing that piece of paper to a local bakery, getting two identical looking cakes made, and then picking up one of them to take home and cut into. It would be either pink or blue inside.  No big party with tons of people for us, because honestly, I simply didn’t have the time to organize anything fast enough. Anil had been traveling and my work load had been taking its toll on me a bit.  Fast forward a few nerve wrecking hours and after dinner, with a bunch of family Skyped and Face-Timed in, we were finally ready to cut the cake. We had our camera rolling so we could capture our reactions.

Boy or Girl?

I am all about balance and would have loved a girl to round out our family. But as we cut that cake down the middle, I suddenly thought of what I’ve really known all along. Dilan is 100% boy. All tractors and bulldozers and wild games. He creates a constant mess and chaos in our house and I secretly love it. He would do so much better having a baby brother and that is exactly what he’ll get :-)

It's a...

I may not get the opportunity to be the girl-power role model I would like to be. But in 20 years, I’ll be the mom who will tailgate at football games with my boys. I love beer and football and anything stereotypically boy-ish. I grew up as a tomboy, climbing in doors and playing loads of video games, while my parents reminded me not to scrape up my knees too much. So as we cut that cake down the middle and saw the blue icing amid the chocolate cake, a sudden sense of calm came over me. Surely, it won’t be easy being outnumbered. Dirt and noise and tons of boo-boos. But what a great opportunity to teach myself more patience as our family is growing. And knowing all that I am and all that I’m capable of…I think I’ll fit right in.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Dilan!

Happy second birthday, cutie pie! Whew, what a year it’s been. You run, instead of walk now. You voice your opinion about absolutely everything. You pick out your own clothes, you only drink from a cup if you can do it one-handed, and you never sit still. You’re so independent and at the same time won’t play by yourself without us at arm’s length. It’s nice :-) One day, you probably won’t want us around and I’ll be reminding you of this then!

You’ve made the biggest strides in speech. Mommy almost had to pull over the car on our way to work the other day because you attempted to say “bulldozer”. She laughed so hard because it’s honestly the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. “Mama / dada hug” obviously scores big brownie points with us as well.  You often say “I like it” when daddy makes smoothies for breakfast. It makes our hearts sing because we’ve worked SO hard on speech and language with you over the last few months. I hope it taught you a big lesson: that you never give up in life when you can’t do something at first.


Smoothies and pancakes are breakfast staples. Your other favorite foods are olives, paneer, pasta, tomato sauces, and rice and beans. You’ll eat all fruits as if they were to run out forever and we never have to convince you to eat meat either. Black olives, though, have gotten to the point where we won’t even put them on pizza or in casseroles. If we do, you’ll eat them all in one sitting and steal them off our plates :-). The result of all this eating is this:

  • Weight: 28 lbs, 8 ounces – 74th percentile
  • Height: 34.5 inches – 48th percentile
  • Head size: 49 cm – 71st percentile

You throw plenty of tantrums, but I think we are better prepared for these than some other parents may be, because you’ve protested if you didn’t like something since the day you were born. So, we’re used to the tantrums, but just need to help you work through them a little better. We’ll get there. They’re not making the two’s terrible, though, as people say. The daily dose of cuteness we get balances them out. Your best friends (by a landslide), daddy & Bobo tend to agree.


You love your daily routine to the point where you’ll now always give “Bobo big kiss” and “Paci all done” when we arrive at daycare. It’s SO cute to listen to. You give us two options when going down the stairs: “Pick up” or “I” (walk yourself). There are so many other daily acts of cuteness that we love, but most of all, we just love having you around. You’ll learn this one day when you have kids yourself. There is something very humanizing about having you. It allows us to slow down and think about what’s really important in life. Mommy often just lets the phone ring when she’s playing with you after work. It’s worth it. There is no amount of money or work satisfaction that can make up for what we’ve experienced with you in the last two years. And for that, we thank you! Stay strong, stay independent, and stay sweet!*


*And remember: you always have to listen to mommy & daddy because we know what’s best. Yes, you’re stubborn and think you know everything, but we’re way ahead of you with that, buddy 😉

Six Years Later

Six years isn’t very long in the grand scheme of things. My maternal grandmother is close to 90. Now that’s a long and impressive life. Six years? Nah. I always try to put things into perspective, but on the other hand, I also think a lot can happen in just six years. This Friday marks six years of marriage for Anil and I. It’s not very long or impressive (or even a round number!), but it’s still so special to us. So what does life look like six years later? A lot has changed…

We’re now averaging about 2 to 3 real dates per year, which also means we eat dinner with food and toddler utensils flying around the rest of the year. Most of our conversations are centered around our toddler, food, technology, start-ups, or family updates. We also talk a ton about baby and toddler poop and circadian rhythms. I consider my evening a win if I have the time to put on lotion, not in peace, but while discussing our meals and groceries for the next week. Oh and car maintenance and insurance too, of course. I haven’t worn lipstick in about 5 years and to this day, don’t know how to put on eyeliner properly. Yep, I’ve got the make-up-less, au natural look down. I sleep in free technology conference t-shirts and pajama pants or shorts every night. Anil does the same (does he have a choice?) and his pajamas and socks are more likely to have holes in them. My hair never looks great without a lot of straightening. Neither of us is crazy about flowers, so you’ll rarely see fresh flowers on holidays or birthdays. I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to most flowers. But good food? Loads of it. I know at this point you’re thinking about how unglamorous our marriage sounds. Surely, we must be miserable, right?


Nope. Not for a single day. I actually love all of the craziness that makes up our marriage. I think it’s largely due to the fact that we both pay attention to small details. We enjoy the ones that matter to us, and (try to) let go of the ones that don’t. We’re pretty in sync on that and never take anything too seriously. It’s helped us a ton, even with a difficult baby, a start-up, and so little free time on our hands. So no, we’re not the couple with the flowers and the fancy dinners at The Melting Pot anymore, but I am still crazy about my hubs. He comforted me when I got food poisoning in New Zealand. He checked my teeth for broccoli during a dinner cruise in Hawaii. He flew to Vegas to keep me company when I had to present for work (ok fine, didn’t have to twist his arm for that one :-)). He rubbed my back for 18 hours during labor. He cleaned up that first meconium diaper (and reminds me of it all the time!). He let me nurse Dilan in his start-up office, as awkward as that was. He told me I would do great on my first day back to work, with a 3 month old in my arms and tears in my eyes. These are some of my toughest, fondest, and most meaningful memories. Six years later, I’ve learned that those small details are way more important than anything that’s filed under “romantic”. They are raw and pure life and they taught me how great of a partner I really have.

I’m sure you guys have similar experiences. Don’t forget them. They’re what makes your bond so strong and fun. Happy sixth anniversary, Anil. It’s been a blast. I don’t regret one single moment we’ve shared over these last six year. Hope you’re buckled up, because I don’t see us slowing down…


Our 15 Month Milestones

In typical late-to-post fashion, here are our 15 month updates!

State of the Dilan

Dilan’s had an amazing few months. His biggest accomplishments really are the ones having to do with communication and personal-social skills. He is able to point at so many things such as humidifiers and about half of the most common body parts. It’s incredible. He is starting to try to pronounce words a bit more, but isn’t quite there yet with talking. Since he doesn’t regularly call us (or any object) by our name, we are considering speech therapy in the next month or so. I know that may seem aggressive, so we’re waiting it out just a bit longer in case he simply needs some more time. There’s no rush, but we just want to be sure he’s on track. Last month, he moved up to a young toddler class (1-2 year olds), so may just pick up words from other young tots. Dilan loves anything that’s wild, dangerous, or not allowed, which is why I am burying myself in a parenting iBook once I’m done with this post 😉

On the growth side, he’s still doing excellent, as you can see by his stats below:

Height: 32 inches, 77th percentile
Weight: 23 lbs, 12 oz, 64th percentile
Head size: 48 cm, 81st percentile

It scares us how much he eats for breakfast sometimes, which often is more than Anil or I eat. Dilan still smiles CONSTANTLY and really lights up our day. He did have a few rough weeks: Moving up to a toddler class also means new germs, so we were all sick for a good two weeks or so. In the almost ten years that I’ve had a career, I never had to take a sick day until I had a child. Go figure :-)…those kiddo germs will get ya!

The main phase Dilan is going through right now is the separation anxiety one. I know it sounds amazing to have someone like you enough to cling to you at all times, but it is ROUGH to drop off a crying and pointing (“This is YOUR fault, MOM!”) toddler every morning. I’m slowly getting used to it, as I’ve heard it may take a few more months to a year longer. With separation anxiety sometimes comes a good dose of stranger anxiety as well. It’s all part of the game at 15 months. Dilan, if you’re reading this, know that we WILL remind you of how much you liked your parents when you’re, say, 15 😉


State of the Mommy

I feel really, really good right now! I switched into a new, more challenging role at work and absolutely love it. It’s totally in line with my geek side of the house (which is most of the house) and incorporates my love for presenting and speaking in front of others as well. At home, my biggest challenge is getting dinner on the table every day after work. I often have to prep food after Dilan goes to sleep since he really just wants to be held once we get home. He won’t play for even a minute by himself on the floor. It’s ok. I’m enjoying the cuddles at home :-). We also jam out almost every single evening and it’s SO awesome. Usually we pick the Itsy Bitsy Spider station on Pandora. It’s a lovely mix of tot songs and uplifting adult music. Sometime we’ll do pure grown-up music as well. It’s honestly my favorite part of the day!

Though I’m pretty satisfied where I’m at, I really want to get better at a few things. Running needs to become more regular, and being stuck to the iPhone needs to be a less regular thing. It’s so easy to be glued to your phone and though I rarely answer my phone when I’m playing with Dils, it’s still too easy to get sucked into the screen. I also want to help others more. There is something so humbling about helping out people without getting paid for it. I love sharing stories about eczema, reflux, colic, developmental delays, and breastfeeding because I can relate – we’ve been there. I try to do that through this blog, but want to reach out in more ways and  other areas of passion to help others as much as I can. I’ll let you know how I do at the end of 2014 :-). 

State of the Daddy

The daddy is on a plane as I type this. It’s Friday night and I doubt creating financial models in Excel on a plane is what he really wants to be doing, but I think that speaks a lot to his work ethic. He works SO hard on his start-up and both Dils and I are incredibly proud of him. Since he can’t represent himself in this post, I’ll go ahead and say that his weekend will consist mostly of fixing our garbage disposal and coming to Trader Joe’s with us so I don’t have to shop alone 😀  We love you, daddy!!

That’s about it, guys. Catch up with us in less than 3 months for the 18 month milestones and don’t forget to check out the other Mommy Musings and About us posts!


The Year That Was

2013 was perhaps my best year ever. It was exhausting. Mostly spit-up, food, and snot covered. I can’t say that parenthood is glamorous and I definitely haven’t figured it out. I probably never will. But what I have figured out is what matters most to me: the pitter patter of tiny feet walking across the kitchen, the hug of the hubs that makes it all better at the end of the day, a good glass of wine, a simple soothing meal, the beady eyes of my son getting smaller when he’s smiling, co-workers who “get it”, goofiness in any shape and form, sisterhood inside jokes, forehead kisses, hot showers, naughty breakfasts and brinners, teachers, Thanksgiving, and family nap time.

I learned that if you want positive change, you have to push for it. It means speaking up and raising your hand, without your ego interfering. It’s harder than it sounds. I learned that the right amount of patience and inner calmness can get you through almost any situation. I learned that life is messy, but infant poop isn’t as bad as they make it sound. I also wasn’t the one who cleaned up that first meconium diaper…thanks, Anil. I learned that people change over time as well, but as the hubs told me yesterday over drinks: “As long as we change and grow together, it doesn’t matter”. He also told me he loved me in the middle of an Irish pub. See why I married this guy?  😀

All in all, I have to say it’s been a challenging and extremely fun year. On so many levels. I look forward to doing it again next year. Yeah, I’m feeling pretty smug…pretty much like Dilan in this pic. Happy 2014, guys! Hope it’s as healthy, amazing, and productive as you want it to be. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. Or at least the potential poopy diapers.




Happy Birthday, Dilan

Dear Dilan,

Happy first birthday! We are so proud to be your parents. We often comment on how you have the happiest soul because you’re always smiling. You started smiling way before the norm and have not stopped ever since. We hope you never do. You’re a rebel and a rascal, that’s for sure. You do what you want and protest when you don’t want something. But hey, it’s the rebels that change the world, not the ones that quietly sit and accept life as it is. You take your time with milestones and with a little bit of help, are now sleeping like a champ. You eat like a champ as well and it shows :-). Your favorite foods are blueberries, pears, and avocados. You just learned how to start clapping after finishing your dinner. Your favorite person is Bobo (your monkey), although mommy thinks that daddy comes in as a close second. You get the most excited when you see him. You love crossing your feet, which we always refer to as “casual”. You started “casual dining” (crossing your feet while drinking milk) around 4 weeks. You like to throw food on the floor and love simple toys. You love people and are already quite popular with the ladies. You’re tall and are growing up way too fast. Your favorite song is Itsy Bitsy Spider, which strongly competes with any and all Jack Johnson songs. You love soothing to JJ while swaying in our arms. You don’t like being changed or getting dressed because it makes you feel out of control. You’re just as independent and strong willed as your parents are. You have the best eyelashes ever. You’re a sweetie pie.

You’ve changed us as people, too. We’ve become much more patient over the last year. You’ve made us realize that life is quite simple and we often make it way too complicated. Our biggest joys are tickling your tiny feet and watching you: speed-crawl with wide open mouth, pull yourself up to our legs while we’re getting dressed in the morning, stuff your face with food in both hands, recognize songs and clap when you get excited, grab the Dropcam, and of course, sleep like nothing else in the world matters. Thank you for showing us how fun parenthood can be. You’ll do great things in life and remember, we’ve always got your back. Especially now that you’re climbing the stairs…


Mommy & Daddy



A Fatherless First Birthday?

This past week, I put in vacation time for our one big trip this year. We are beyond blessed to be able to take a trip in the first place, but it also made me realize that I have only taken 3 vacation days all year. That’s the least out of all 9 years that I’ve been working full-time. And that with a new (and pretty difficult) baby boy. Anil’s vacation time? Probably even worse than mine. On top of that, he’s been traveling quite a bit and will continue to do so until the end of the year. When you’re tech startup founder, you don’t always get to set your own schedule or negotiate when you can and can’t be on the road. So last month, when he first took off for meetings, work, and mentoring in the Bay Area, I decided on something.

Our average workday is a crazy mix of board books at (or before) 6 AM, diaper changes, bottles of milk, packing lunches and snacks, loading laptops and the car seat, cranking out work, possible groceries, more bottles, getting dinner on the table, humidifiers, pacifiers, books, bath time, blogs, prepping meals, more laptops, email, more work, and….you get the picture. It’s probably just a fraction of what you guys with multiple kids and jobs go through on a daily basis. But hidden in all that madness are the things that I know I would miss the most if I were the one traveling: huge smiles when reading favorite books, head bopping to music, passing the ball back and forth, crawling with a wide open (smiling) mouth, and watching bubbles as if they are the most magical things in the world.

With that in mind, I created The Daily Dils. It’s a brief summary of Dilan. I email it to Anil every morning when he’s away and so far, it’s beaten any FaceTime session we’ve had. Here’s one of my previous Daily Dils’:

The Daily Dils

Nighttime sleep: 10 hours, 36 mins
Mommy’s nighttime sleep: 4 hours, 30 mins (hello latte!)
Mood: cranky, but improving
Jack Johnson song count: 4
Habit of the day: biting

 Dils and mommyimage





The Daily Dils. All the pickle juice you need to start your day.

I can’t even imagine what it must be like for military families or those who have to sacrifice being physically close every day for trying to make a difference in the world.  My lesson learned? Life gets hectic. But it’s no excuse for not paying attention to the little details that make it so amazing. As for Dilan’s first birthday, for weeks it was definitely going to be a fatherless one due to travel. Not a chance that Anil could move those scheduled travel dates, until someone else did. So far so good. Keep your fingers crossed for us. And don’t forget to pay attention to the details. The small and fun ones, that is.


The Fifth Year Anniversary Present

August 8 was our fifth wedding anniversary. I know five years isn’t very long, but it’s been an amazing journey nonetheless. I have grown and learned more in the last five years than I ever thought I would, just by being married to a fabulous guy. It’s been incredible. I had been looking for the perfect anniversary milestone present for weeks, but just couldn’t find anything that really captured my thankfulness and just “hit home”… Until I read this: It’s a long read, but one of the best written posts I’ve ever seen and absolutely worth your time. There’s a shorter version of Brady’s story in the form of a thank you letter here:

My heart broke instantly. Dilan has been slow with developing his motor skills, but he’s been evaluated and with a little bit of help, he’ll be able to catch up and he should be ok. This child is not and may not ever be. Why does this matter and what does it have to do with our fifth anniversary? Aren’t there millions of children worldwide with disabilities and many that don’t even have clothes, clean water, or enough to eat? Sure. But my goal here isn’t to make you feel guilty or to scare any parents. I was just overcome with an immense feeling of thankfulness because as a new parent with a child who is learning how to crawl a bit slower than others, I could relate. But only a very tiny fraction.

That 18 hour labor without meds? Easy. Blood transfusion and anemia after giving birth? Easy. Sitting on the couch for hours without using the restroom and cluster feeding an almost colicky newborn? Easy. Seven months with nights of 2 to 3 hours of sleep? Easy. My life is SO easy compared to what those parents have to go through. And yet I complain about it all the time, even on this very blog!

So this year, my anniversary gift isn’t anything fancy. It’s a donation to that organization and a more patient and thankful wife for my husband. Most of all, it’s the best gift that I could ever share with him: a healthy child. There’s a fundraiser for that family and others to find a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Although we’re tied up this weekend and can’t attend it, we did donate and if this hits home for you, I encourage you to do the same:

If you do nothing else, hold your loved ones a little tighter before you tune out for the day. I know that’s what I’ll be doing tonight.




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