Mamahood Styled


// 16 months //

Age: Sixteen months! The month of your soaring independence!
Stats: Thinking still close to 27 lbs and 33 inches (97th and 98th percentile- the size of an average two-year old). 
Activities: Pointing out anything with an engine and making engine noises at it! Climbing over, out of, and into anything you can (including your crib- your mattress is at the lowest rung and you can still get your chubby little leg to the top of the rail! Luckily you haven't figured out how to get out of it, yet)!

Moods: Same as always! Happiest-go-lucky baby boy ever! Hundreds of smiles fill ours days! You are so stinkin' cute! You have a strong personality and when you don't like something you make sure to let us know. This is usually where we try to gather ourselves as parents, not laugh, and teach you some respect and discipline. It's hard! But we refuse to have you become disrespectful or spoiled- so we talk to you, a lot! You are really testing y(our) limits lately! You try to see what you can get away with! Way smarter than us!

Sleep: We still don't understand why you insist on waking up most nights. At this point, we would think that you could soothe yourself better than that. Just last night, you woke up and we let you cry it out. Only lasted a minute but still. You stand up, hold on to your bed, and cry cry cry. Stahp it. We love you and you are okay. Unless you're not and we always check on you regardless! But mama and dada need sleep! haha!

Words: We have been trying to get your to say "please" and "thank you." We swear you are more than capable especially right now that you are into repeating things we say. For example, I was trying to get you to add "please" when you sign "more." I kept practicing with you and you would only smile at me. Finally, I said "Say BUTT!" You grinned and clearly said "Butt!" hahaha! What?! 

Or a couple weeks ago, when Grandpa and Grandma swore you kept saying "Spiderman," while they were talking about the movie. Of course, we didn't believe them until you said it the next day to us "spy-e-min."

So last night, I made healthy brownies topped with chocolate chip cookie dough blondies (oh, yes, mama did)! Well, I gave you a bite and you responded "mmmm...mmmm....mmmm," then immediately started signing for "more," and as always I told you you had to say "please" too. So you immediately signed for it then signed for "thank you!" You little booger! You have known ALL along and just CHOSE not to do it! haha!

Favorite Foods: We stopped giving you bananas for a week because you were having an excessive amount of messy diapers and developed your first rash. Not even sure if they were related but it was the only change to your diet that did the trick- because you know, you were eating smoothies and 2 whole bananas for 2 days straight! You eat like a grown up! No wonder you're so chubs! You won't deny any foods and now that we have been exposing you to some sweets, you are smitten. We had homemade ice cream a couple weeks ago and it was the cutest thing to watch you eat it and say "haaute" and blow on it, haha! Cold, Baby, it's cold. 

Nursing: Still 16 months! And lately, you have been wanting to nurse at other times, rather than just for bedtime. One time this month, you fell, and I felt bad so when you got up crying and asked to nurse, I let you. You are so cute. You grab my hand, bring it up to my shirt, and motion for me to let you nurse, haha! I think at this point you must just be nursing for comfort than actual milk. You fell asleep twice this month without me because I had to work late. The next night you still wanted to nurse. I don't know how/when you won't need to nurse to sleep at night. & you almost have a full set of teeth! The last incisors have already poked through. It makes me so sad because there is no longer a gummy smile, looking up at me. 

Favorite Things: being outside! If we don't take you outside you are so mad! You love to play outdoors. Too bad we don't have a backyard! Eating! Dancing! Reading! Taking things from one container into the other (like Tupperware). 

Signature Moves: Turning on the radio, and running away from it when it is too loud. You get so startled, you jump, run, and ask to be picked up. Then you dance- every single time!

Mommy's Proudest Moment: I yelled at Daddy and it scared you so much, your bottom lip uncontrollably pouted. So sad! Oh, that Daddy!!! ;) No, but, really, big lesson for me!

Daddy's Proudest Moment: Hitting me with a toy and I yelped in pain. You started crying hysterically and ran to be by my side and got so mad at Daddy- you even threw the toy back at him. 


// Acorn Squash Fries //

I can't count the number of times we have received acorn squash in our Bountiful Basket and I have had no idea what to do with the giant acorn root vegetable. At one point, I roasted it and cubed it and sprinkled cinnamon on it. Oliver ate it up, as we did for our work lunches, but neither adult enjoyed it much. I had had two acorn squashes sitting on our wire basket for a couple of weeks and while cleaning yesterday, I wondered what I could do with them before tossing them out. That evening, we were prepping turkey burgers for dinner and I was about to reach for the sweet potatoes to make fries, when it occurred to me that perhaps this giant acorn may just work. & ohhhh, yes, they did! I think I may actually buy acorn squash at the market!

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. Peer your acorn squash; Cut it in half & scoop out the inside seeds and stuff. 

3. Slice up your squash in fry-like slices. 


4. Soak them in ice water for at least an hour. (This is what I do with my sweet potato fries, as well). It helps them get rid of some of their starch and makes them crispier). Once you are ready for them, pat dry them thoroughly, and add your desired seasoning. I kept it simple when some garlic & onion powder, tiny bit of sea salt and pepper. 

5. Decide on your bake ware. Lately, I have been all about using cookie cooling racks (with a cookie sheet underneath) for everything that would need to otherwise be flipped in the oven (think turkey bacon, fries, etc).  Otherwise, use a cookie sheet, add thick aluminum foil and spray with coconut oil, or your preferred spray. If you don't have spray, dab some oil on a paper towel and wipe it on the sheet. 

6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until desired level of crispiness/brownness is reached! I like to turn on the broiler for a minute or two, watching them the entire time or else they are guaranteed to burn the moment you walk away, for extra well done fries!

I wasn't sure if these would taste like sweet potato fries, or regular potato fries- surprisingly, they tasted like the latter! Husband and baby approved! We dipped them in our favorite yogurt ranch dressing and I made a spicy ketchup mix to dip them in!

Super simply, healthy and delicious! A new, accidental, staple in our home, now! Enjoy!


//Long Live the Weekend//

Have you seen the memes that state the necessity of one more day in between Saturday and Sunday? I'm all over hitting 'like' on those! Seriously, we are overworked as it is (hence, my Monday is set to be a 12-hour workday)! I am a proponent for 4-10s! Our weekend should start Thursday evening so that we get to enjoy three-day weekends, every weekend! But alas, my job doesn't operate that way (yet) and my husband's does, but only every other week. So, back to our two-day stint.

This weekend was so nice! I loved it so much! Friday started off with Geoff and I both taking an hour off to take Oliver to shoot a commercial! How insane is that? Baby Boy was asked to help a local small business in their summer commercial. He did great and we were so proud of him. A little apprehensive about what the final product will look like, but otherwise, happy with at least being able to add this to his list of background knowledge and experiences! What a lucky little guy! He is so loved by so many! God really sent us a good one! ;)

Unfortunately, after the shoot, we found out that Nana is ill- a nasty tummy bug attacked her. I ended up bringing ODCM to work with me and that was fun! He did so well! He was pretty overwhelmed in the beginning by all the kids but then got comfortable and even helped me pass out certificates and pins during an assembly I had to help MC.

This weekend consisted of taking Nana a care package, cleaning house, homemade meals, meal prepping, workouts, homemade ice cream, a DQ run, a little DIY, & just enjoying each other!

I woke up reminiscing about the weekend and wishing we could all stay home together, for another day. Unfortunately, Nana is still sick today and we have been juggling our sweet boy. & this mama is working at least 12 hours today! Woot! #onlynot

Ready for your weekend?  Hoping it was nothing short of lovely!

I leave you with a portion of this week's camera roll:

One of my students sent me this! How cute!

Oliver filming a commercial!! 
Baby Boy showing off his belly button at the park!

Twinning Vans!

I did the chalk wall for a local business! Much harder than I had anticipated, haha!
Just a baby boy, his rolls, and his puppy...oh, and mama's weight lifting gloves. 
Mom + Me = LOVE

commercial shot

Nothing beats dancing him to sleep <3
//this mama needs sleep//

The Honest Co. featured Oliver on their IG. How rad!
Look at this beauty!

//Run, free, Baby, run, free...//

//daily life, haha//
// student messages...better than the one that we found today that was highly inappropriate, haha//

Mother's Day 2014 in Cinnamon Clothing Co. wear
That baby bottom is my fave
Instead of sleeping...
Park Date

//mama's homeboy//

//he needs sleep too//
//I've been spending a lot of sunsets at work lately//


// homegirl recipe: whole-wheat spinach tortillas //

Back in 2010, Geoff and I decided to make a switch from Top Ramen, Doritos, cokes, and junk food, to truly wholesome, nutrient-dense foods. We were a bit extreme and we knew it; but hey, when the world deals you a Cancer diagnosis, such measures are necessary for your physical and mental health. I cannot tell you how difficult it was, though, especially in social settings. As humans, we are defiantly protective of our emotionally-ridden foods. Even if we did not mind not eating what everything else was, others did; even if they did not verbally state it, the implications were loud and clear to us. It was especially difficult to go out to eat and not have healthy foods on the menu (or knowing that what was advertised as 'healthy' wasn't at all). We were vegetarians for two years, vegan for two weeks (we love our cheese too much), and since then, eat primarily healthy with treats sprinkled in throughout for our wholesome souls. My specialty has truly become making our favorite treats into healthier alternatives. When I first starting blogging about recipes, specifically, I asked girlfriends who were also looking for healthier alternatives to guest blog. I thought it would be such a fun way to support, share and encourage each other!

Cue, Stephanie! Stephanie has been a friend of mine since elementary school! Despite all of my moving around, we ended up at the same schools throughout our childhood and teenage years. Today, you can find this gorgeous girl, DIYing, crafting, hosting, cooking, running, working out, all while motivating others, including her husband, to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle! She recently posted these tortillas and I immediately texted her asking her to guest blog for us!
(Follow her on Instagram @stephanievdominguez)

Warm, soft, healthier tortillas? Yes, please! I can't wait to try these! Without further ado, here is this beauty:

2 dozen / 6” tortillas

The Goods:
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup water
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups all-purpose gluten free or wheat flour
6 cups spinach

The Process:
1.     In a large pot, add water and spinach and cook
     down over medium heat until tender.

2.     Remove excess water from spinach, but keep the nutrient rich spinach water to add back into dough.

3.     In a blender or food processor, add spinach and blend until smooth.

4.     Add baking powder, salt, oil, and flour to spinach. Blend until mix crumbles.

5.     Slowly add spinach water as needed until dough is smooth.

6.     Remove dough and divide into equal parts.

7.     With a rolling pin, roll each part into thin circles. Or use a tortilla press (much quicker)! 
     Sprinkle flour as needed to avoid dough sticking to rolling pin or tortilla press.

8.     In Teflon coated pan over medium heat (no need to add butter or cooking spray), toast each side until golden spots appear.
9.     Enjoy!

Share your favorite healthier alternative recipe! Have a challenge for me to healthify (yes, that's a word!) your favorite indulgences? Let's do it!


// motherhood //

Becoming a mama has been one of the biggest blessing of my life. I never dreamed of being a mom. I have girlfriends who have made it one of their goals in life. I was ready to always be the Titi to spoil my best girls' babies. Even when I found the love of my life. He even knew that one of his lifetime goals was to become a dad. How beautiful is that? I have always been career-goal-driven. My measures of success have become internalized to be on my education, my career, & stability in life. I could see myself having a family, someday...but it was not in my peripheral.

& then the unfathomable occurred. After eight years of dating, a home of our own, starting to establish our careers, vehicles purchased, a dog, you know, the typical measures of "success," Geoff was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer in its final stages. A story within its own, it was a huge slap in the face. I remember the hurt so vividly- my heart really felt like it was breaking in my chest, while we waited for his surgery to remove the growing, monstrous tumor. I recall the unrecognizable cries that were coming out of me and the feeling of despair, of really feeling that his life on earth could realistically be over. I remember the pain in his mother's eyes and face. But it is not until now, as a mother myself, that I can truly relate to it.

Two weeks after Geoff's surgery, we were told he would be starting highly intensive chemotherapy and the likelihood of him conceiving children was in the single digits to zero. Without hesitation, we decided to try. & guess what? It looked like it had worked! How amazing! Except that it was a false alarm and my body decided it was not ready. & we quietly mourned for a loss that happened so rapidly that we didn't even get a chance to register everything that we had just been through. But we were on a quest of survival for G and all of our focus and energy re-shifted to that.

We got engaged that weekend! We fought for his survival. & he made it through. A year after his last chemotherapy treatment we decided to test him to see if he could become a dad like he always wanted. The test results came back with disheartening news. We stayed focused on each other and got married.

& then, the unimaginable happened a year later. We got pregnant! We were just as in shock as the multiple doctors and midwives that we saw; just as in shock as the loved ones we initially confided in!

& the cards were dealt to us again, as G was diagnosed, again. That wretched ugly monster had reared its head into our lives again and had procreated itself into dozens of tumors in his body. This time we were told he would survive, but his spermatic cord would not- meaning that the miracle of its return, was going to be robbed from him, again...

Which brings us to the miracle that is Oliver and to the topic at hand: motherhood. Becoming a mama has opened my heart and mind to a life that I never imagined, never knew I would yearn so badly for. It is such a rollercoaster. It brings you up and down and all around. Some moments, I'm on top of the world, while others I am full of self-doubt and questioning what I am doing. The one thing I am so assured of is how much love I have for this little human being. It really feels as if my heart is outside of my body, beating and pumping away and enveloping this little creature in all the love I can muster. Yet, it is frustrating and trying as well. It is a give and take; daily testing; expanded patience; every emotion you can muster up balled into one. The most beautiful and amazing experience of my life. I question what I am doing, if I am doing anything right, if I'm messing him up...and despite all of that, I have decided to just LOVE. Just love him hard. Just do all things through love. & have faith that it will all be okay. Because not all mamas get the opportunity to do this. & not all mamas get to repeat it...and some mamas lose their babies...and so, I have to focus on right now, and just. simply. love.

To all the mamas out there, we have got this...just fiercely, passionately, madly, truly, and deeply..and it will all be okay.



My heart is so heavy. My soul feels like it is crying. My Instagram feed slowly started getting flooded with red balloons and images of this sweet red-headed little boy. This last Friday, three and a half year old Ryan, went to Heaven. He was struck by a truck as he went to retrieve a frisbee. I cannot even begin to fathom what his mommy, daddy and loved ones must be feeling right now.

& I cannot help but think of how that would destroy our existence, if this little boy was my own.
All I want to do is run to Nana's and cuddle my baby boy so hard and never let go...

Look up the hashtag #redballoonsforryan and send your prayers, thoughts, positive vibes to him in Heaven and his family, until they are reunited. There are a lot of fundraising projects being organized, as well.

We are all connected in this crazy, jumbled, inexplicable world we live in. Today, I am thankful for my baby boy and for the connections encountered through my little social space I share with anyone who reads this.



Nana & Oliver D Cruz

"Are you ready, Baby?"
He kicks his little feet, clasps his dimpled-knuckled chubby hands, and with a glisten in his bright eyes, happily chants "Na-na, na-na, na-na!!"
I get out of the driver's seat and open the backseat door, as he kicks his little legs and starts getting louder with his chant. His anticipation is contagious and I struggle to get him unbuckled fast enough, as he is also trying to get out of his carseat in the most hurried way.
I carry him down, and he pulls away from me, running to the side door.
He starts knocking, I pick him up and he starts ringing the doorbell, repeatedly. We can hear as someone approaches the door, and as it opens, he squeals with delighted excitement.
He throws himself onto her and wraps his little arms around her neck.
She has a twinkle in her eyes, and a huge grin on her face.
"Why, good morning, Oliver! I missed you!"
She smothers him in kisses and he does the same, tilting his little head and staring her right in the eyes, with a huge, warm mesmerizing smile.
He starts pointing to the kitchen for a snack, then changes his mind and wants to be put down. He races to her shoes, picks one up and brings it to her feet, trying to get it on the wrong foot.
He runs back to the door and starts grunting and talking at it, looking back at her.
We laugh and I ask for goodbye besitos. He rushes through them and waves and says "bah-bye" to me.
With tears in my eyes, I wish them a happy day and leave. Before I drive off, I look back and see them embracing each other and laughing.
& they are off on their daily adventures.

I think to myself how amazing it must be to grow up with and spend your days with your great-grandmother. What a blessing she is. How I always wished I could have had a grandmother or great-grandmother to grow up with. She devotes herself to him and he couldn't be more in love. She teaches him and loves him. She selflessly adores him. & we adore her.
I wipe a tear of happiness and gratitude.
"Yes, Baby Boy, Nana is, indeed, the best."
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