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

Chico's Monster Ball

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="1407,1409,1410,1431"] Planning your child's first birthday party has the potential to be really stressful and overwhelming, but I was determined to keep the focus on what the hype was all about - and that was to celebrate Chico's amazing first year of life!

I am very lucky that I have a mother-in-law who loves to host parties, a mother who is so creative that I can show her anything I like on Pinterest and she'll create it, and a husband who is an artist/painter.  Not to mention Chico's talented Ninos are photographers/videographers and took all these great pictures aside from a few I took on my phone.

When deciding what kind of party we would have for Chico I knew I didn't want anything too specific or themed. There literally was no color scheme, no theme...I just picked things I liked and prayed it didn't look completely insane on the day of the party. I just wanted the party to feel fresh, fun and light-hearted.

I was concerned about how I would keep the party focused on the babies and not have it be overtaken by the older kids. My plan was to put a bounce house in the front of the house with easy access to food away from the baby area. Adam painted a "Baby Monster's Only!" sign that we put in the designated baby area. I purchased several blow up pools and filled them with balls - making our very own baby ball pits. They were a huge hit not only with the birthday boy but the other babies too! I also had several bubble machines because bubbles are Chico's new favorite thing.

Having this designated area for the little ones was the best idea. We were able to relax, spread a blanket out and rest easy knowing that sugar fueled older kids weren't going to accidentally trample a little one.

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The entire party felt like a dream. I didn't have a big wedding, but I often hear brides say how, "the whole day was a blur!" Well I think I understand that concept now because the whole party felt like 20 minutes of an emotional blur! Chico had such a good time and was such a good sport. He skipped several naps and partied hard. I was nervous how he would react to everyone staring at him and singing happy birthday because he can get overstimulated with too much noise and attention. Knowing this about his personality I put him in his sling for singing and cake time so he would feel secure.  As everyone sang happy birthday to him he was amazing! He clapped and smiled and took it all in happily.

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Tentative at first, Chico just took in the cake I made him for a minute and after a little bit of encouragement from me he dug in. I was so happy that I took the time to make him a healthy, all natural cake that I could feel good about giving him. It was basically yummy banana bread with Greek yogurt based frosting (for the ingredients and instructions click HERE!).

Chico - I know you probably won't remember your first birthday aside from the pictures and stories we tell you about it so just know you had the best time. You got to see all your baby buddies, your friends and family were there and everyone had a great time and loves you so much.

xx.

Mama

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Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries Vol. IV "Everything Shines"

  This post was written by my husband Adam. We are the first husband and wife team to be chosen as Sling Diarists for Sakura  Bloom Series - Vol IV: Everything Shines!

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"The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking." -Robert H. Schuller  (yeah, I started this with a quote) As a kid I was encouraged to dream of becoming such things as a Doctor, or a Lawyer. I was taught that the level of  "success" and financial stability would gage my happiness. I was taught to always "do better" than what my parents could do. The words "Do as I say, and not as I do…" were often heard around our house. I understand my mothers desire for me to succeed, but without guidance, resources, and with such vague direction, how could I possibly believe in myself enough to accomplish such seemingly impossible goals? I was overcome by anxiety and sleepless nights at a very young age, for the fear of disappointing my mother and the consequences at hand if I were to let her down. The older I got, the less I cared, and the less I dreamed. When thinking about "dreams" the first thing that pops into my head as a father, are the dreams I have for my son. My dream is to foster an environment where Chico has the opportunity to inspire his OWN dreams. To experience the innocence of looking at the world and really believing that ANYTHING is possible.  I want him to dream the way all kids should dream, without hinderance, and know that the sky is the limit! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I dream that one day men will realize how baby-wearing can directly influence a bond between them and their children and will not be self conscious or afraid of being perceived as effeminate. Its 2014 and gender roles are long past. We live in a world that is so "PC" that we often question what we can or cannot say, but for some reason it seems totally ok for women to approach me and say things like, "Oh what a good dad!". I can only ask myself, "Why?" Why is the standard for being a responsible father so low that someone would assume I'm a "good dad" simply for wearing my son!? Taking care of your children isn't something that should be praised, it's something that should be expected. My dream is to influence other dads to realize the importance of bonding with your child. As men we don't have the opportunity to nurse our children, so anything I can do to build a trusting bond with Chico, I'm going to do! That is why I took the six weeks of family leave when Chico was born even though I was ridiculed at work and treated like I was going on a six week vacation. That is why I woke up at every feeding and changed Chico's diapers, bounced him to sleep for endless hours on the yoga ball, and did not think twice about wearing him close to me when the opportunity arose. These are ways that I have bonded with my son, and although many men might think he will never remember any of that, I can look into my child's eyes and KNOW how much it matters. And no, I'm not trying to be "the best dad on Instagram", I'm not playing a role here, what you see is what you get. I'm just trying to give my son what I never had and always sought after, nothing else matters.

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Growing up I never thought about being a father, wait, I take that back, I never thought about being a GOOD father. Why would I? I assumed I would have illegitimate bastard children running around the San Fernando Valley who hated my guts! Sad to say, not a far off assumption for a teenager who didn't think about living past his twenties. I was consumed by drugs and alcohol, and the older I got, the more real shit got. So I drank and got loaded to distract me from an unfulfilling life. Four years ago I got sober and I was given a second chance at life. Im lucky to have met my soul mate who became my best friend and wife. I was blessed with a baby boy who totally flipped my world upside down in the best possible way. You see up until then, my dreams were non existent. I was too afraid to dream because I was so used to low expectations. I thought as long as I could stay sober, support my wife financially, and enjoy living, I was a happy camper. The second I looked into that babies eyes and said "Chico, this is your papa…", witnessing him recognize my voice was like no high I ever experienced. Fatherhood is something I KNOW I am good at, because everything I ever wanted in a father is exactly what I dream to provide for my son today.

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Something You Should Know...

Something you should know about me is that I love and collect ornaments. I am lucky enough to have been gifted all of my childhood ornaments by my mom and consider them to be some of my most prized possessions. Your feed will be speckled with my favorites throughout the holiday season. This is for Cheeky's first Christmas on the outside. I love December.

Weekend Adventure with my little Family.

photo 2"Why are they so embarassing?!" -Chico We three have fun. No matter what we do we always find a way to have fun doing it, but one of our favorite things to do is to hang out in Little Tokyo. It has always been that place that I defer to when I want to go somewhere to eat, walk around and just get lost. My grandparents took me there all the time as a child and it feels nice to take Chico to do some of the exact same things I did.

photo 1A trip to Little Tokyo wouldn't be complete without grabbing a bite to eat at Suehiro Cafe. They are celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year and I can't believe it! I've been going there since I was in elementary school and always order the #2 combo.

photo 4Chico also enjoys the #2 as he is a huge fan of chicken. Look at these two! The waitresses at Suehiro freaked out over Chico's headband. They were calling him "Kamikaze Boy" and even asked if they could hold him and take pictures with him.

photoYes, his new thing is staring awkwardly at people with a dead pan expression. Super uncomfortable to witness! :)

photo 3Not to anyone's surprise we wore Chico in the ring sling during our adventure. Couldn't imagine him exploring his surroundings any other way at this point!

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 presetOf course gotta pay homage to the Patron Saint of the Japanese herself - Miss Hello Kitty.

Sunday Funday complete! Good food, too many macarons, trinkets, coffee and as usual met lots of people who were huge fans of Chico. Because let's get real - he's really the star of the show these days.

Adventures in Breastfeeding - Guest Blog

cue pics028 I had the wonderful opportunity to write a guest blog for Jill over at Goodnight Mush - HERE about "Adventures in Breastfeeding." Breast feeding has become such a huge part of my every day since having Chico and it's something I am incredibly passionate about. I hope you go over and have a look at it. It was such cool thing to be able to sit down and reflect on what early breastfeeding was like and how I couldn't have done it without the constant support of my husband.

When we brought Chico home from the hospital we were both really adamant about doing things ourselves and not having our moms (or anyone for that matter) come over to help us with the baby. My mom brought food but we didn't have hands on help (not for lack of offering). Adam and I both felt very strongly that we wanted that "Golden Hour" to last for as long as possible.

I am so glad we did this because it brought us so close together as a married couple and as a parenting team. There's something to be said for only having each other to lean on - by choice.

Just feeling grateful for what my husband and I have created and the life we are living.

Here's some silly pictures we took at Cue Studios yesterday to go with my blog.

"Happy Boobs, Happy Babies!" -Adam

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Saturday Afternoon Adventures

20130818-002159.jpgSaturdays are Adam's Fridays, so when he gets home on Saturday afternoons we usually try to do something fun and get out of the house. I thought today might be a wash because Chico has been suffering from a case of serious teething that has been going on for over a month now. He was crying all day and it seemed like I couldn't do anything to make him feel better. Luckily Adam suggested we go somewhere to distract Chico and it ended up being a really good idea. 20130818-003729.jpgFirst we hit up Cielito Lindo for some taquitos at Olvera Street. It's our favorite spot to eat there - hits the spot sometimes like nothing else will.

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20130818-003741.jpgPoor Chico. You can tell he doesn't feel great, but this was a vast improvement from how he was at home all day. He loves being outside and has always been a "people watcher," since infancy.

20130818-002250.jpgNext we went to Little Tokyo to walk around and shop. I forgot it was Nisei Week so it was really crowded with interesting characters, vendors and music. Several different people stopped us to ask about our Sakura Bloom sling and to tell us how happy Chico looked in it. We always get a lot of attention wherever we go with Chico in his sling.

20130818-002237.jpgChecking out the paper lanterns hanging up in the marketplace. Chico is fascinated by balloons and I think he thought he'd discovered a new breed of balloons made out of paper!

20130818-002302.jpgYummy coffee was had at Cafe Dulce. They sell Stumptown Coffee there so we bought a bag. Can't wait to have some in the morning! It was a fun afternoon. I love my little family. We always have the best time enjoying the little things in life.

Milestone Announcement!

via Instagram http://instagram.com/p/cUnBenIcbb/
Chico skipped having a first word and went straight to "first sentence!" Last night when Papa was telling him he loved him, Chico responded with, "I Love You," [pronounced "Ey Wuvooooo"].  We just about died.

Slingin' at the Zoo

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We are now annual passholders at the LA Zoo! We went on a whim and had a great time. My new Sakura Bloom silk sling arrived right when we were headed out the door and I was so excited - it's even more beautiful in person then it was on the website (color is Twillight).

I'm happy Adam is getting more comfortable with using the ring sling instead of the Ergo only because Chico now prefers the ring sling in a big way. He likes that he is looking forward with you as opposed to the Ergo where he is forced to look behind. We aren't gonna toss the Ergo yet though - because soon he can do a back carry and I think both he and Adam will like that a lot.

Happy Babywearing! xx

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.

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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

Porch Living.

via Instagram http://instagram.com/p/ZhLyaJIcVH/
We spent the early evening on the porch as a family - watering the lawn, reading to Chico, trying new holds in the Ergo and watching YouTube videos of Cheeks from his birth and first few weeks of life. I really am living the dream. I am so unbelievably grateful for the life that we are living. I can't wait for summer nights spent as a family on the front porch, which is saying a lot because if you know me, you know that I hate summer.
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We have plans to up our porch game with some new furniture.  Martha Stewart's line of products for Home Depot is really off the chain. The first few weeks Chico was born we used to walk to Home Depot and just sit in the different patio furniture. It was our way of feeling like we were getting out of the house but still relaxing. :)
I can't wait to lounge in these!!
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Here's to summer nights!
Check out this silly little video I took of my two favorite people. It was supposed to capture a loving moment between Papa and Son, but Chico decided to surprise Adam...
xx.

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

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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?

Chico's First Trip to the Museum!

Adam and I decided on a whim Sunday night that we should catch the Kubrick Retrospective at the LACMA before it closes (turns out it has been extended until the end of July). I was excited to get out of the house and do something and also very excited to take Chico to the museum for the first time. Then the "what if's" started in my head.

What if he starts crying and it echoes throughout the galleries? What if someone gives us a dirty look or asks why we brought an infant to a museum? What if he lets out one of his monumental farts and people give us major side eye?

These are exactly the kind of "what if's" that keep me home so often. I am trying to have a more carefree attitude and get out of the house once a day, even if it's just to go to Starbucks. I already had a really intense homebody tendency pre-baby and it could easily encompass my life if I let it. So I will fight it - because I know it's best for me to even when it feels like the last thing on Earth I want to do.

I am getting more and more used to the planning that goes into taking a major outing with a newborn. I am much better at knowing if we are "baby prepared," but still working out the kinks of "mama preparedness." Getting dressed is no longer an activity that only involves "looking good," because now it has to be functional as well. What nursing bra do I choose to wear with this top? Should I wear a tank underneath this top so that when I breast feed him I won't be exposing my gut? Also I'll be wearing a wrap of some sort - will what I'm wearing only make me hot and sweaty under the wrap? Will Chico be hot and uncomfortable strapped to me in said outfit? Oh and jewelry and accessories - forget it. All they do is get caught on him, the wrap, pose a potential scratch hazard and or come too close to his face or mouth when I'm holding him. Wedding ring only these days.

So yeah it's an adjustment for me. But I feel like I'm not doing too bad only 3 months in. We had a fabulous day and once Chico got fussy in the stroller we swapped him into his Ergo and he fell right asleep. We even ate lunch at the museum afterwards and aside from a diaper change/feeding debacle it went smoothly. I'm getting more comfortable with breast feeding in public, which has also been harder than I thought it would be for me. Depending on the place, there are times I just feel so exposed and vulnerable even though I know in my head I am doing the right thing for my baby. As most women would attest - you spent puberty forward with your breasts being sexual objects and it's difficult to separate that now that I  use them in a utilitarian fashion. Luckily Adam is very supportive and reassuring which makes every part of this that much easier. We decided we are going to try to do something fun like this every Monday to encourage both of us to get our butts out of the house and into the world!

Baby in his first piece of art - literally!photo 1 (4)

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A Clockwork Orange - starring me and Chico. Notice his eyes peering over the Ergo like "Ehem, Papa are you really letting her do this?"

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You may not be able to tell, but Full Metal Jacket is Adam's favorite movie (only after You've Got Mail of course!).

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Lolita film images through a magnifying glass.

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Jack's Adler typewriter from The Shining.

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The Twins! These are the dresses they actually wore in the movie.

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Not from the Kubrick Retrospective...

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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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An Afternoon with our Buddies.

Adam, Chico and I headed out to Santa Monica last weekend to spend some much needed time with our best buds, The Jenkins. "The Jenkins" are: John, Gaelyn and Peeps the Pup. They are also expecting a baby boy come June and we are beyond excited for them and also for Chico who will have a built in buddy to grow up with (Check out My Corner View for Gaelyn's cute ass pregnancy style!)! John and Gaelyn also happen to be Chico's Nina and Nino (Godparents).

We spent the afternoon soaking up some much needed Vitamin D while John BBQ'd some delicious food (Per usual - this man is amazing - the day after Chico was born he and Gaelyn came over and made us lobster tail! No joke!). We also got to put Peeps to the test and see how baby friendly she was. The verdict is in and she passed with flying colors!! She was curious, gentle, concerned when he cried and best of all she rocked him in his chair! Good job P-nut!!

John and Gaelo took some fab photographs of our day, so I thought I'd share. They do great wedding photography/videography, so check 'em out at What We Do Films!

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8669-2 Images of my husband may be tougher then they are in real life. In other words - he's a big softy!

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8603 Peeps doing an amazing job of protecting Cheeks. Cheeks is chatting her ear off.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8592 The fun exhausted them both so they napped.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8670 Our Little Family.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8610 Nina Gaelo the baby whisperer.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8621 Smiling in Nina's arms.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8630 The 3 boys talking about boy stuff.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8631 More man time.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8620 "Mama it's so bright out here!"

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8605-2 My heart.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8648 I'm a mom - so weird still. But I look at this photo and I'm like - "Hey, that's a mom doing mom stuff with her son right there!"

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8683 Adam being the best Papa - flexing his "Happiest Baby on the Block" skills.

Chico Picnic with Jenkins'-IMG_8682 "I love you so much Papa."

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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