My Very First Mother's Day

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Feliz Dia De Los Madres to all the Mamas out there!

This year marks my very first Mother's Day. I received this sweet card from my Grandma in the mail yesterday and it not only melted my heart, but made it feel real. Yes, I realize I'm a Mama now, but the fact that Mother's Day includes me now feels kind of unreal!

You see, I always wanted to be a Mom.

I never wanted to get married, but I always wanted to be a Mom. As a little girl I didn't dream of big wedding dresses or play "wedding" with my dolls - although I think my Barbie did have a wedding dress, but it was more of a fashion study than anything...anyhow I digress. I did however hold my baby dolls and stuffed animals as if they were my infants and dreamed of having a child someday, which I attribute to the closeness between my mother and I.

My parents marriage was far from ideal and all I ever thought growing up was - Why trouble yourself with the whole marriage thing when you can just have a baby of your own? As I hit my late 20's I didn't stress about meeting someone to get settle down with, I worried that I was getting older, thus the chances of having a baby was getting slimmer by the moment.

Meeting my husband in 2009 was completely unexpected. Our first official date was at a wedding. He likes to remind me that he told me at this wedding that he was going to marry me someday and that I rolled my eyes and explained to him that marriage wasn't something that I was interested in. He just smiled and nodded.

Okay - so he was right...there, I said it! :)

The thing is - when you love someone so deeply and with all of your being you come to realize that the values that are important to them become just as important to you. I remember as we were reading our vows to each other in San Francisco City Hall, knowing that this was the best decision I had ever made - the best thing I had ever said, "Yes" to.  All the years I had said, "Marriage is just a piece of paper that ruins happy relationships," what I really was saying was, "Happy relationships never last and special people always leave or disappoint me, so why bother?"

So this grinch's black heart grew when we got married that day in 2011. It was a closeness, trust and unconditional love like I had never known.

Then my heart exploded when my son was born 3 months ago. It was a feeling of strength, a new-found respect for myself and what my body was capable of as a woman and a deep feeling that I had been born to protect this little human.

I think that's what being a mom is about. Yes, it's about giving birth to a child, but I've come to realize that becoming a mom has been a life long journey and I've just arrived. It is not what I dreamed it would be. It is a million times better. It is about realizing you know nothing. It is about me, it's about my husband, it's about Chico and it's about who we all are now that we are "one" as a family.

So "Happy Mother's Day" to you Adam and you too Chico - because I am the Mama I always wanted to be because of you both. I love you guys.

xx.

Emily/Mama

My Very First Mother's Day!

20130510-104319.jpg Feliz Dia De Los Madres to all the Mamas out there!

This year marks my very first Mother's Day. I received this sweet card from my Grandma in the mail yesterday and it not only melted my heart, but made it feel real. Yes, I realize I'm a Mama now, but the fact that Mother's Day includes me now feels kind of unreal!

You see, I always wanted to be a Mom.

I never wanted to get married, but I always wanted to be a Mom. As a little girl I didn't dream of big wedding dresses or play "wedding" with my dolls - although I think my Barbie did have a wedding dress, but it was more of a fashion study than anything...anyhow I digress. I did however hold my baby dolls and stuffed animals as if they were my infants and dreamed of having a child someday, which I attribute to the closeness between my mother and I.

My parents marriage was far from ideal and all I ever thought growing up was - "Why trouble yourself with the whole marriage thing when you can just have a baby on your own?" As I hit my late 20's I didn't stress about meeting someone to get settled down with, I worried that I was getting older, thus the chances of having a baby was getting slimmer by the moment.

Meeting my husband in 2009 was completely unexpected. Our first official date was at a wedding. He likes to remind me that he told me at this wedding that he was going to marry me someday. I like to remind him that I rolled my eyes and said to him that marriage wasn't something that I was interested in. We both remember him smiling and nodding.

Okay - so he was right...there, I said it! :)

The thing is this - When you love someone so deeply and with all of your being -  you come to realize that the values that are important to them have become equally as important to you. I remember as we read our vows to each other in San Francisco City Hall, I knew that I was making  the best decision of my life - that this was  the best thing I had ever said, "Yes" to.  All the years I had said, "Marriage is just a piece of paper that ruins happy relationships," what I really was saying was, "Happy relationships never last and special people always leave or disappoint me, so why bother?"us

me

So this grinch's black heart grew when we got married that day in 2011. It was a closeness, trust and unconditional love like I had never known.

Then my heart exploded when my son was born 3 months ago. It was a feeling of strength, a new-found respect for myself and what my body was capable of as a woman and a deep feeling that I had been born to protect this little human.

I think that's what being a mom is about. Yes, it's about giving birth to a child, but I've come to realize that becoming a mom has been a life long journey and I've just arrived. It is not what I dreamed it would be. It is a million times better. It is about realizing you know nothing. It is about me, it's about my husband, it's about Chico and it's about who we all are now that we are "one" as a family.

So "Happy Mother's Day" to you Adam and you too Chico - because I am the Mama I always wanted to be because of you both. I love you guys.

xx.

Emily/Mama

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You are 3 Months Baby Bear!

3mo Dearest Baby Bear,

3 months? Feels more like 3 years! No, no - not in a bad way Baby Bear - we just have done so much and you have grown so much, that it's hard to believe you can learn and change so much in just one months time!

During the past month you have learned all sorts of new tricks! You can grab onto toys and bring them to your mouth like a champ! Your new favorite thing is to play on your "jungle gym" as I call it - you lay on your back and look up at flashing lights, music and spinning objects that dangle from the gym. You crack up so hard while your playing in your gym. Sometimes it looks like you are playing a drum kit! You kick hanging monkeys with your feet, punch a hanging rattle with your right hand and with your left hand try to grap the spinning toys. DOUBLE BASS DOUBLE BASS! This further proves my prediction that you are going to be very musical someday!

The other fun thing that you do now is babble and chat with me. I will ask you something and you respond by chatting and laughing. We do this every morning for a good bit of time - that's usually when you are the happiest. Yes Little Bear, sometimes you can be quite a grouch! It's funny, one moment you are laughing and the next minute you look so grouchy! Your Grandma Sue thinks that maybe you are going to be really serious and think your Papa and I are pretty ridiculous (which we are). I think that you might just have a really great poker face.

Speaking of poker - we went on our first family trip a few weeks ago! The 3 of us went to Las Vegas for your uncle Patrick and aunt Sophie's wedding. It was the first time you got to meet a lot of family - you met your Grandpa Adam, Great Grandma Mary, Aunt Loretta, and your cousins Sierra and Jonah! Sierra wanted to hold you right away and you looked huge in her arms!

I will tell you a funny story about Vegas. We bought you an adorable little sailor outfit (including a sailor hat!) to wear to the wedding. When we arrived at Cesar's Palace you started screaming and I couldn't figure out why you were so upset. I picked you up out of your car seat and you had pooped all the way up your back, all over your car seat and of course your all white sailor suit. You kept looking at your Papa and I with this look that said, "Guys, I'm so sorry - I feel miserable!" It was quite an ordeal!

Love you so much Baby Bear - here's to another month of love, laughs, antics and growing!

xx.

Mama

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You and Papa hamming it up during your photo shoot.

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Chico's Outfit:

Yellow & Grey Bow Tie Onsie with Vest - Noah's Boutique on Etsy - Cool thing about this? The onsie has snaps on it and you can order different ties, suspenders, vests, etc to snap right on to create different looks. We actually ordered this for the wedding but it didn't come in time. It's okay though, you would have just pooped on it anyways. ;)

Blanket - This was Mama's Baby Blanket a long time ago. Grandma saved it and brought it over when you were just born. PRetty cool that we can share stuff right Cheeks?

Things I said I would never do...

Before I had a baby I had a lot of opinions, bottom lines and staunch ideas about what I would and would not do as a parent. Two months in and all of my big ideas have pretty much completely crumbled. This officially will begin a series of posts that describe me doing things I said I would never do...like ever. Thing I said I would never do #1 - Use a wipe warmer. warmer

"Ridiculous," I proclaimed! Way to spoil your baby's ass into thinking he/she always deserves a luxuriously warm wipe at ever turn! Once they have one warm wipe that's all they will ever want! You would have to be an IDIOT to use one.

After a month of Chico screaming like he was being stabbed every time I used cold wipes in the middle of the night, it hit me. Oh my God - this is why people do it. Also - having a baby boy who has a cold wipe touching his penis in the middle of the night means immediately being squirted with piss. The poor kid pissed on me, pissed on his jammers and once he had pissed on his own face I'd had enough.

So we have the warmer now. Chico doesn't scream bloody murder in the middle of the night. He also doesn't freak out that he has "regular" wipes during the day (so there goes my spoiled on warm wipes theory), he hasn't peed on anything but his own diaper since and to top it off the warmer has a tiny little nightlight that I'm super into.

Case Closed.

You Are 2 Months Baby Bear!

chico official 2mo Dearest Baby Bear,

Well, you are 2 months old now! Time flies when you are pooping, eating, sleeping and pooping some more! It feels as if so much has happened during the past month. The most exciting milestones that have happened are that you know smile and laugh!

When you were first born you would sometimes twitch in your sleep and it would appear that you were smiling, but according to my baby books it was a reflex and not an intentional grin. The books said that when you smiled purposefully, I would know. Well it's true! One day when I was talking to you (about who knows what) you broke out into a big grin and a strange gurgle that I knew was a laugh. Every day since you smile and "laugh" more and more. It changes your entire face and I am so glad I was able to capture it in this picture of you (taken on the day you turned 8 weeks).

Other things that have changed for you is that you are awake much more! You seemed to always sleep during the day that first month, but now you seem to always be up and alert during the day! So much for trying to get anything done around the house - especially because you like to be held in my arms as opposed to your swing, your bouncer, the car seat... really anywhere that isn't ME! Luckily you really enjoy being in your wrap (1 of 3 I have for you) and that gives my arms a break - you are getting heavy little boy!

Your Papa went back to work last week and he's having a tough time. He misses you so much and gets sad during the day thinking about how much he wishes he was at home with us. Those first 6 weeks of your life were awesome for your Papa and I as husband and wife because we got to be around each other AND you 24 hours a day. It was one of the best times of my life. We are adjusting and I'm getting used to being your primary caretaker during the day. It isn't easy without Papa's help but we are hitting our stride.

Our biggest accomplishment this month is probably breast feeding. We both seem to really have the hang of it now and it's as if we're old pro's. I say "we" because breast feeding can be a difficult, frustrating and painful experience for both parties. These days breast feeding is none of those things - it is a beautiful, relaxing, bonding experience that I look forward to. You seem so healthy - growing fast mentally and physically and I know it's due to the fact that you are exclusively breast fed. It makes me feel proud that I can sustain you all by myself. It's pretty mind blowing when I see your legs getting chubbier and your body getting these adorable fat rolls and I think - "Wow - I'm doing that for him!" This may sound strange but I'm sure other Mama's understand what I mean.

Here's to another month of fun and growing together my love...

Your Papa and I love you very much Baby Bear!

xx. Mama

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The Wonder Weeks.

via Instagram http://instagr.am/p/XG2oc-oceo/

Loving this app! It lets you know when you can expect a rough patch due to developmental and physical changes your baby is experiencing and really breaks it down. So very helpful! I am going to have to get this book off Amazon and get more details. So far it's beyond accurate!

What parenting apps do you use? Do Tell...

You are 1 month Baby Bear.

chico 1mo Dearest Baby Bear,

You turned 1 month old yesterday. Although it's only been 30 short days, it feels like I have known you for an eternity. It has been harder then I could have imagined, but also more rewarding then I ever dreamed. Between learning to live on only 2-3 hours sleep a night; to defining a, "good nights rest," as sleeping in 3 hour increments between your feedings and diaper changes - I am realizing that everything I thought I knew before you arrived gets thrown out the window.

You are such a wonderful baby. I can just stare at you for hours on end. I find everything you do to be "the cutest thing ever" or "the funniest thing ever." Even when you are scream crying I giggle uncontrollably because of the way your chin quivers is hilarious. Sorry Baby Bear, but like I said - you are just too cute.

Although you are only one month old you already do a really great job of holding your head up and you can roll yourself from side to side. I joke that you are the Incredible Hulk Baby. You really seem to love music and are fascinated by books and art. There was a playlist of songs I made in your honor when I was pregnant with you. I would listen to it in the car with you (in my belly) and always felt like you enjoyed the songs. One day when you were about one week old, you were being fussy so I decided to play the songs for you and the minute Kurt Vile's song "Baby's Arms" started to play you stopped crying and looked right at me! I couldn't believe it. I read books to you that your Grandma Susan got for you and you stare intently at the pages and seem to like stories that rhyme the best! When you sit on the couch in the living room you are constantly staring at the artwork we have hanging on the wall or at your Papa and I's tattoos.

It's hard to remember life before you existed Chico. My life will forever be separated by life before you and life after you. I love you so much my beautiful son. I am honored to be your mother and promise to do the best job of raising you that I can. I promise that I will love you with all my heart. I promise to foster your independent nature (yes, I can already tell you are going to be stubborn like me in terms of wanting to do everything on your own) and let you learn from your own process of trial and error. I promise to always be there for you whether you scrape your knee or need to talk about a bad day at school. Lastly, I promise to give you tons of hugs and kisses (even when you are too old and most likely a bit embarrassed by it).

Your Papa and I love you very much Baby Bear.

xx, Mama

Chico's OOTD: "I love my Mommy" kitty Onsie and stripped knit leggings - GAP BABY Socks - Whale Baby Socks, brand unknown but gift from Papa Blanket - Pendleton Chief Crib Blanket (a beautiful gift from Chico's Tia, Tio and Primos - The Starling Family

Hospital Bag Packing 101 - Fun for the whole Family!

diaper bag UPDATE: I am re-posting this blog post from my Pregnancy Style Blog and editing/updating the post based on my experience now that I have actually given birth! In retrospect I was a little over-zealous in my packing, but I don't regret it - it made me feel prepared for this hugely important day. I have crossed out items that I wouldn't pack for my next pregnancy with explanation in parenthesis.

FROM ORIGINAL BLOG POST:

So at 38 weeks and 3 days it's super important I am ready to head to the hospital when shit goes down it's that magical time. I have checked out tons of pins (check out my 9 months of style and baby related pins HERE!) regarding what you should pack in your bag and your baby's bag for the hospital, so after checking them all out I have compiled my own list.

It may be over-zealous but it's my first baby and I'd rather be over prepared than regretful ya know what I mean? Click after the jump for my checklist for not only you and baby's bag - but partner/hubby/baby daddy bag too! Are your bags packed? Did you bring stuff you thought was useless later? Did you get to the hospital and say "DOH!" when you realized you forgot _______? I'd love to hear your thoughts/experiences about packing for the big day!

My Bag: Boppy (So lactation consultant can show me different ways to BF) Birth Plan (extra copy) Tube of Lanolin (Not needed - your nipples don't need relief yet) Robe and Gown Flip Flops (For the shower or just walking around) 10x underwear (The mesh underwear provided by the hospital are going to be EVERYTHING to you! You will take extra pairs of these mesh underwear home with you and treasure them in those first few days post-partem.) 2x Nursing Bra (I didn't find these necessary - you aren't wearing a bra under your gown and won't be nursing your baby in the car on the way home, so skip it.) 4x socks (I didn't use a single pair of socks - I was burning up for a week after giving birth which apparently is really common.) Breast Pads (You will only have colostrum for the first few days after birth until your milk "comes in." You have about a week to look forward to leaky boobs - skip the pads). Slippers Toothbrush/Toothpaste Brush/Hair Ties Deodorant Dry Shampoo Medication Going home outfit (loose & comfy - still gonna be the size of a lady 5-6 months pregnant!) Chapstick (I always have 5 different ones in my purse no joke)

Baby's Bag: Scratch Mittens 2x Hats (Hospital gives you the cute newborn knit hat so you don't really need to bring your own unless you have a special hat you really want the baby to wear on the way home - I did!) Baby Book (to stamp feet) Car Seat (in the car not the bag!) Wipes (Hospital provides these - but if you think baby is gonna have an explosion on the way home I guess pack them.) 2x socks 2x swaddling cloths Warm Going Home Outfit (1x NB size and 1x 0-3 size - they think I may be having a big baby so I need to be ready size-wise!) Baby Blanket (for the way home & pics in the hospital)

Husband's Bag: Jams (sweats & tee shirt) 4x boxers Slippers Deodorant Toothbrush/Toothpaste Medication 4x socks Contacts case/solution Snacks/Change for Vending Machine

Our Electronic/Tech Geek Bag: Laptop/DVDs Phone/Phone Charger Camera/Camera Charger Flip Camera Ipod/Headphones/Small Speaker (for soft soothing music, but most importantly for me to listen to my Hypnobabies tracks while in labor.) (This ended up being unecessary for me because my labor once at the hospital along with pushing was less than an hour and there was no time for music/self-hypnosis/NOTHING!)

xx