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

Happy 5 Months Baby Bear!

9229163906_848c087f36_h Dearest Baby Bear,

I feel like I was just writing Happy FOUR Month Birthday to you! Now here I am saying happy Five Month...which makes me think of 6 Months...which is half of a year...and then...then...

The point is Chico, you are really growing up before our eyes. We went to the doctors for your vaccines and a check up and you are almost 16 lbs and measuring in at 26 inches! That means you have grown a little more then one inch every month since you were born! I feel like you are getting so strong physically and so smart - the biggest change this month is that you hate laying on your back (You think that's for babies!) and you want to sit up unassisted. Unfortunately Chico Bear you can't sit up without help so we got something called a Jumperoo for you. You sit in it and can bounce up and down and spin 360 degrees (eventually!) and play with all kinds of little contraptions that are connected to it. I've never seen you get so excited about something before! The first few days you had it, you jumped non-stop, nodding off for 5 minutes here and there, then waking up and bouncing where you left off.

9226228597_207e5a0d98_hI shall dub you "Drooly Andrews."

You also seem to be teething...evidenced by the excessive amounts of drool you produce. I took these photos of you and considered changing you into a fresh onsie, but I thought the drool just exemplified what you are experiencing right now. I'm into it and you don't seem to mind! The blanket you are laying on in these photos is from Paris and was a gift from your Ninos to us when they went on a European Vacation. Pretty cool right?

9226226517_8619a2c12a_bSpeaking of your Ninos - they had a very exciting thing happen this month. Last Saturday night your Nina Gaelyn gave birth to John Oliver. Your Papa and I took you to the hospital and we waited with Nino John's mom for about 8 hours until Ollie came into this world. You seemed to be really caught up in the moment and not wanting to miss a thing. I was trying so hard to get you to go to sleep because it was waaaay past your bedtime but you were fighting me hard. Suddenly you went from being wide awake to limp in my arms. We joked that maybe Ollie had just been born and that because you felt his presence you knew it was okay to go to sleep. Your Papa noted the time just in case.

Sure enough Ollie had just been born at 9:23 PM.

9229008550_0d88eeb56c_hYou seemed so big next to Ollie when I held you over his clear plastic hospital bassinet. You were very calm and serious and just looked at Ollie, looked at me, looked at your Nino and Nina, back to Ollie. I couldn't help but think that a part of you remembered that only 5 short months ago, that was you - all fresh and new and teeny tiny.

9229007960_8bcf6bd6b4_hSoon the 5 Month difference won't seem like such a huge gap between you and Ollie.  I imagine the two of you playing together - going to the beach, swimming, running and laughing, having sleepovers and staying up past your bedtimes until you are both so slap happy you fall asleep in a fit of giggles. I hope you tell each other secrets and that you let your imaginations run wild - playing make believe and hide and seek. I hope that you and him have a lot of fun together; growing up and having lots of adventures.

9226536987_d779321d52_hYour smile and laugh never cease to fill me with joy. And you laugh a lot these days so you're really giving your Mama a lot of happiness. I still miss you when you have a long nap. When you wake up and I hear you stir or cry I run to you and we both just smile at each other like dorks, as is it's been forever since we last saw each other. Thank goodness you seem to be equally obsessed with me or else it would be a VERY unbalanced relationship Baby Bear!

Love you Boo! Here's to another month of fun, giggles and growth.

xx,

Mama

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Happy 4 Months Baby Bear!

8975868448_f5d0a960cc_b Dearest Baby Bear -

This whole Mama thing gets more and more fun by the day - and you are the reason why! You have developed into such a delight to be around! No longer do you cry for what seems to be no reason at all - you give a cry if you are hungry, tired, need a change or perhaps a burp, but other than that you are smiling, laughing, exploring your environment (best you can without much movement) and sleeping like a champ! When I say sleeping like a champ I mean that you now sometimes sleep longer than 4 hours at a time in the night - and this, my little bear is good not only for you, but for me too!

When I think back to the past month a few things stick out to me - one would be your new-found language skills and the other would be your interest and wonderful attention span when it comes to books and reading!

Every day you and I spend a lot of time "talking" to each other. It looks a little like this - I will say something or ask you a question and then you respond back with babbles that are in the same tone as what I said to you. It's so amazing that you are already developing such clear leaps in language as such a little person!

You and I read books every single day! You have some favorites - "Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes," "Where is the Green Sheep?" and "Chomp Zoo," are just some of your favorites. Here's a little video of me reading Green Sheep to you.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cJr7lF-Eps&w=640&h=360]

Can you hear how you are almost reading along with me? I know I'm your Mama, but I can't help but think you are a super smarty pants! I'm so happy that you enjoy reading because reading and books were my first love. I was read to by your Grandma Sue all the time which developed into my passion for reading and especially writing! I love being able to share this love with you already! You have no idea how happy this makes me.

This month you did some fun stuff and met some important people.

First person you met this month was your Tia Mimis. She is your Mama's cousin and best friend. She has been waiting to meet you for a long, long time. Probably even before you were born. When she met you, she held you and tears came to her eyes. You seemed so peaceful in her arms and during the time she stayed with us you and her cuddled and bonded. You laughed and cooed in her arms and it was so awesome to see. Her brother and my cousin Pepito (Tio Jose) also stopped by to meet you and he fell in love. We attended your cousin Isabella's 3rd Birthday Party and you got to meet her, Talan and Aurora! They all took turns holding you, giving you kisses and hugging you. It was awesome. I helped you to hit your first pinata too! You are officially Mexican now Little Bear!

We went on a nice relaxing family trip to Cayucos and Morro Bay (see your onsie) and stayed with Aunt Chic. It was her first time meeting you and she fell in love! She even held you with the assistance of the Boppy Pillow which is huge because she usually doesn't hold babies due to her arthritis. We just hung out, ate good food and did some antique shopping. I held you in your carrier through the shops and you were so good! Who knew a 3.5 month old would be so alert yet quiet while antiquing? It was also your first time at the beach! We didn't take you directly to the sand because it was kind of chilly, so instead we walked out onto the pier in Cayucos. You were not happy about this! It was incredibly windy and you started growling something fierce! As we walked further down the pier your growls got louder and it because abundantly clear that you were NOT into this little walk! So we snapped a quick photo and hightailed it back to land! Sorry booboo, guess you hate gusty wind!

We also went up to Carpenteria for your Nino John and Nina Gaelyn's baby shower! Your soon-to-be pal, Oliver (or Ollie as we are already calling him) is going to be born next month!! We are so happy for your Ninos and for you too, because something tells us that you two babes might have a lot in common (aside from awesome parents!).

8975949596_e744a13974_bYour eyes are still a beautiful grey color, but in the sunlight we are starting to see flecks of brown. 8975939444_ed39aedec6_bHard to see here, but you are holding onto your favorite toy - a plastic ball with space for small fingers to grip. You also love to bring it to your mouth and stick your tongue through the holes!8974733243_f4f5969090_b

Fly Little Hummingbird, Fly!

xx.

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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Headed to a Wedding (only 2 months Post Partum - EEK!)

hm This weekend my little family will be headed to Las Vegas for my Brother-in-law's wedding. It is going to be a weekend of many "firsts!" Chico's first road trip, my first time having to be sort of "fancy" since having Chico, and the first time everyone really gets a chance to meet Chico - because the little bugger is finally safely immunized and can fend off germs now!

Finding things to wear for the weekend has given me a bit of anxiety because there are so many things to consider! I'm definitely not at my "fighting" weight and still am pretty soft around the middle. I am also exclusively breast feeding, which means that whatever I wear - Chico must have easy access to his food source. Since I have had him, I have pretty much been living in nursing tanks and wrapping my head around putting together a cute outfit feels really foreign. I also want to be comfortable to an extent because I'll be holding the baby during the wedding, reception, etc - so fabric can't be easily stained, show sweat or drool and needs to move with me.

There are two occasions over the weekend that I will have to dress up for - one is a dinner on Friday before the wedding and then the wedding itself. I have decided to wear this H&M dress from their "Conscious" collection which means that it is made from 100% recycled materials - in this case, polyester. I actually don't like the length on the model (too short!) but on me the length is exactly how I like it - it brushes the ground and has a slight train that looks really elegant without being too fancy. It also has a neckline that will allow for me to feed the baby without having to take the entire dress off! It comes in at the waist in a way that shows my shape without feeling like I have to suck in. I'm going to actually throw a belt around it to accentuate the waist.

For the wedding I am pulling an older piece from my closet. It's a Marc Jacobs dress and the only picture I can find of it is this one of my husband and I from before we were married.

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Ah youth.

As you can see - this one also has a great neckline for breastfeeding. As far as shoes go I am going to just go comfy and sport some really cute Xileration sandals from Target. As cute as heels might be, I don't want to be miserable half way through the wedding with a baby in tow. I feel like that might be challenging enough as it is and I'd rather focus on Chico as opposed to trying not to eat shit in heels. Plus it's Vegas - it's gonna be hot and you really won't see my feet with the length of the dresses.

It should be an adventure for sure - just hoping we survive the car ride there!

xx

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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chico face

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I Shall Dub This - "The Mama Mani"

I have learned many things over the past almost 7 weeks that my son has been on this planet. Many of these epiphanies are life changers. Example? How is it possible for me to love this tiny human being so damn much?? Less philosophic, yet still life changing is how little time I have for myself. Everything I do feels like a race to finish in order to focus on Chico. I shovel meals into my mouth with lightening speed or eat just enough to not feel ravenous. I shower with a quickness that is almost dangerous to my personal safety. And as far as any sort of beauty regime goes - seriously forget about it. Gone are the days of deciding to get a mani/pedi on a whim. Getting my hair cut and colored? Not happening either - that's a process that one must have at least 3-4 hours set aside for. I don't even sleep 3-4 hours straight at night anymore.

Pre-baby I always found getting manis/pedis to be a rather affordable way to feel like I was doing something nice for myself. I started to get bummed out thinking that I may never be able to get one again. Painting my own nails isn't the same. I do a decent job, but for some reason it never lasts and I end up looking like a 5 year old who has halfway peeled off her Tinkerbell bubble gum scented nail polish.

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During a Target spree yesterday I spotted these "Essie Sleek Sticks." I picked up these pretty pewter colored ones with tiny diamond bubbles on them.

Essie-Nail-Stickers

I had tried Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips in the past and really like them so I was stoked to try the Essie version because it's my favorite kind of nail polish.

sally hansen

If you haven't tried them before they are super easy. You stick them on, file off the excess sticker, done, boom. Here's a video on how to apply them if you are need a visual. This girl puts clear polish too, but I don't find that to be necessary.

Here's why this is going to be my new "go-to" manicure solution until I can sneak away and get a real mani/pedi:

1) It's a crazy fast process to complete. 2) No smells/toxins around baby. 3) No wet polish to get all over baby when you have to stop and pick up your crying infant mid-mani. 4) It lasts for a really long time - no chipping the next day like my hand jobs normally do (Haha - get it? Hand job! Geez I'm tired.)

Can't wait to try more Essie Sleek Sticks. Although there are not as many color/design options as Sally Hansen I find them to be more sophisticated and less juvenile. Some of the Sally Hansen stickers look like Claire's Boutique threw up on them.

I know there will come a day when I will have the time to get a quick mani/pedi, but for now I am still learning how to manage my time between Chico and... well.. everything else.

xx.

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

My Baby Bump on Spearmint Baby!!

35 weeks 25 weeks If you haven't ever checked out Spearmint Baby you HAVE to! It's a great site for Bump Stories, Birth Stories, Nursery Inspiration and DIY ideas! My bump was lucky enough to be chosen to be featured under their "Show Your Bump" section - so exciting!! Check it out and everything else this wonderful site has to offer!

xx

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.

touchdown

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

papaandcheek

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

meandcheek

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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