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?

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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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

My Birth Story in Words & Photos.

Well, here he is - the little boy I've been waiting for... top birth story

My son Chico was born today. I had my first contraction at 5 pm on February 5th as my husband and I were headed to the grocery store to pick up dinner. Active labor kicked in around 10 pm and I knew things were moving along. I asked my husband to call our Doula at 11 pm and we all headed to the hospital around 12 am February 5th.

We arrived at the hospital and the nurse told me I was only 1 cm dilated (which I immediately retorted - "That's nice - I'm going to push anyway."). About ten minutes later I was fully dilated, my water broke and they were pushing me into the birthing room.

I was informed there was no time for an epidural and I guess I said, "It's OK - I'll wait!" (no recollection of all the crazy stuff I said), but it was too late and they barely had time to give me an IV of fluids. I was aiming for natural child birth but once my contractions started getting intense I quickly changed my mind - unfortunately my body had other plans...

I pushed for 20 minutes.

I screamed, I couldn't keep my eyes open, I couldn't push for more than a few seconds at a time let alone to the count of 10, and I couldn't hold onto my legs or put my chin to my chest. Nothing could have prepared me for the pain I felt. It almost felt like an out of body experience.

Nothing could have prepared me for a lot of things I felt that night...

The love, awe and amazement I felt when it was over and my son was placed on my chest and he looked right at me? Whoa.

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Watching my husband hold our son for the first time? Whoa.

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Complete and utter disbelief that my body is capable of going through such an amazing feat and coming out the other side? Whoa.

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I stayed in the hospital for less than 24 hours. I wanted to get out of there and get home where I could rest. I couldn't sleep the whole time I was there because my body was running on this crazy high of hormones, adrenaline and sheer love. I also couldn't stop staring at my baby.

Things at home are nice. We don't sleep much now around here but my husband and I are a wonderful team - between me feeding him and my husband turning into the fastest diaper changer in the world we have a great system. Our relationship is strengthened by the love we share for this beautiful baby we created as well as the admiration we feel for each other.

Thank you all for following my journey! That's all for now because Baby Chico needs to eat his dinner!

xx

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