Contact Me:

stellagunATgmailDOTcom

Saturday, July 30, 2011

%&$&#!!!!

On the (thankfully) semi-rare occasion that both Mila and Olivia cry at the same time I pause for a second and think: "Wow. This is really kicking my ass. This is a whole new world from having one sweet little cherub baby to take care of."

There are a couple of days a week where I just survive through bedtime. Trying to keep Olivia occupied enough to tire her to go to bed at a decent time and Mila on the boob as much as possible since that is her favorite thing. If they are happy I am happy.

Sometimes I start daydreaming of a glass of wine and look at the clock and it's only noon. Then I remind myself to breathe and refocus. To find my center.

But now as I sit here and the house is still I have the perspective I look for when I am tearing at my hair in the middle of chaos. When I am wrestling Olivia into the car seat while Mila complains in her sling.

My children are healthy. Complete. Warm, fed, taken care of. We have all we need and more. I have the freedom to raise them as I choose. Every day we feel the sun on our skin and breathe clean air. Even on the most stressful days I look at my husband and see all the beauty of my kids in his face.

Now I can go to sleep and wake up semi-refreshed tomorrow because I will remember this in the morning. I'll enjoy my coffee and prepare for another day of high pitched laughter, blonde curls, unreasonable tantrums, 6 week old baby squeaks, sloppy kisses, elbow dimples, baby smell, a dysfunctional bedtime routine, and finally two sweet little girls tucked into their beds.

And then I will wake up and do it all over again the next day.

:)

Friday, July 29, 2011

6 weeks.

I cannot wait to really get to know this little human and her eyes that seem to go on forever if you look right into them.
Photobucket

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More than mom.

A reoccurring theme in my parenting journey has been identity, my identity that I held true and the identity I sought to find once my belly began to blossom for the first time. It seems to take a while to get to know ourselves. In high school I was clueless, trying on different labels to see which fit. I started college and the real world threw me in the right direction. Hard lessons, certain relationships, a Europe trip, and newfound responsibilities started to show me who I really am.

Fast forward to Olivia Simone being two months old and I struggled to find myself. Listened to the same music, held the same beliefs, but certainly didn't wear the same size jeans. My identity crisis didn't have much to do with new curves but it had everything to do with trying to find the non-mothering me within the version of myself that had become a mom. My own perception of myself was smaller than the reality.

It was a constant pull between two sides: The me I kept fighting to keep alive and the me I was becoming without my own consent. Before too long I got it. Slowly. I began to understand that I cannot possibly remain the same person. In order to nurture and raise my child I had to break out of the limitations of who I thought I was and let instinct and Olivia guide me into who I was becoming.

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death." -Anais Nin

Now that Mila is here my new challenge is a little easier only because I know that instead of pushing to stay the same, a version of who I think I am, I have to look forward and find myself as a mother of two. In this new role it's like I almost have to meet myself all over again. Rediscover my strengths and revisit the limitations and comforts I have subconsciously limited myself to. Every day I have to let myself grow, breathe deeply, and know that most days I am way in over my head. But that's okay, I sort of have it figured out.

As mothers we still are who we want to be, who we thought we were, but more. Always more.

Photobucket
San Francisco, 2008. The city where Pea was made and grew in my belly.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mila- 5 weeks

Loving my sweet girl more and more each day. All she cares about is nursing or being near the nursers :) Hopefully soon she will like others just as much!

At the park
Photobucket
Bubble Bath
Photobucket

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A sunny Wednesday.

Today I had a really nice mini-date with Mila. We went to a breastfeeding support group that I had been meaning to check out, and I am so glad I did. It's in a part of San Diego that I love, full of cafes and independent shops in a neighborhood dotted with beautiful historic homes. When we buy property, I want it to be there! The group was great, lots of like-minded mamas and their sweetly chubby breastfed babies. It's funny to see a room full of slings and cloth diapered children with moms who are young and hip and not the stereotypical "hippie". Everyone is warm and welcoming and I always get a lot out of spending them with women in the same shoes as me. Mila is already over ten pounds, thriving and growing chubs solely on mama's milk :)
Photobucket
Afterward I enjoyed an iced latte and crepe at one of the French style cafes while Mila napped. It was lovely. I sipped slowly, savored every bite, enjoyed the warm sun on my skin. It's so important for mothers to remember to take a second and decompress. I walked back to the car with a smile on my face. It was that simple. A bath, a glass of wine, a walk alone. Lock yourself in your laundry room for a bit if you have to. Whatever it takes, take at least 30 minutes a day JUST FOR YOU.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Carousel.

On Sunday I had a moment. It hit me suddenly and without warning. We were spending a nice Sunday out, the four of us with our good friends who are expecting their first baby in August. We went to Belmont Park in Mission Bay and naturally Olivia wanted to ride the merry-go-round. My friend held Mila and I went on with Pea. We chose the bunny and I strapped her in and stood next to her. The ride started and her smile grew. Bigger and bigger. I was standing so close I could smell the sun and sunblock in her yellow hair. I had my hand on her hips to steady her but she didn't even need it. I looked down to see two strong, long legs wrapped around the body of the bunny she was riding on. Her hands were gripping the gilded pole and she stood straight and confident. Through the round of her cheeks and baby face I saw her independence. Her personality. For the first time ever I glimpsed Olivia Simone, a person separate from me. An entire individual of her very own. My eyes filled with tears (very unlike me) and like a punch in my gut it came to me- My little girl is growing. And fast.
Photobucket
Before I know it she will start school. Before I can blink she will have a license and ask for a lock on her door. One morning I'll wake up tired because I stayed awake vigilant, waiting for her to come home after a night out. I cannot hold her back though I may want to. How can I deal with her hair one day smelling differently, or her elbows losing those innocent dimples? I'm so proud of my twenty month old girl, of her brains and her courage. I can only hope that in twenty years she might remember how happy she was on that merry-go-round. Of how much we meant, of how with each turn of the carousel she would wave to her daddy excitedly and then beam at me. Her smile so huge, expecting everything out of life.
Photobucket

Friday, July 15, 2011

4 weeks old.

My sweet girl. Such an old soul I see in those eyes.
Photobucket

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Floating on.

I'm alive! You probably think I didn't survive the reality of mothering two under two. Especially now that it's the real deal- I am back on my feet and pretty much all healed from Mila's birth. It's been a whirlwind, the morning starts early and it's go-go-go. Alas, I am still around and actually doing okay. Dare I say it's fun?

I am too tired to write much. It's 10:15pm and that's late! On top of learning how to be mama to my two I also have been spending the rest of my energy enjoying these sunny summer days. Kiddie pools, iced coffees, and Sesame Street have been my keys to survival. And Mila's love of the boob sure makes keeping her happy easy. Thank goodness I have two of those! :) I'll be back soon with clever musings on the wet stains on the front of my tank top, how I haven't worn contacts in two weeks, and the knots in my hair because I no longer have time to adequately brush after my hurried showers.

For now, I leave you with some iPhone photos.

It's been hot + this babe is a heater
Photobucket
Summertime
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

NIP

If you are exclusively breastfeeding your newborn, you are going to have to feed them in public. Unless you plan on staying home all day, or hiding in the bathroom. I think it's crucial to shift society's perception of a nursing mother. I am lucky to have a circle of friends who are educated and supportive of breastfeeding, so it's never an issue there. But, it's important to remember there is still a large portion of people who think a nursing mother should either cover up or feed their baby somewhere "private". The only way to normalize breastfeeding in public is to do it. Breastfeed wherever you happen to be, and whenever your baby is hungry.

On Sunday Todd and I went out to brunch with both girls. Mila was asleep in the sling and I knew I would for sure nurse her at least once during our meal. I looked around and all the tables near us were full. The one closest to us was a group of men sipping bloody marys and chatting about Twitter. I wondered if they would be weirded out by me boobin' the babe. It's still a delicate art, getting her situated and properly latched. A nipple flash is bound to happen. Adding a nursing cover or blanket into that equation just makes it all more hectic... and sweaty.

Photobucket

After brunch Olivia and Todd splashed around in the waves on the beach (O jumped into the water fully clothed). I sat on a bench watching them and nursing Mila. I found myself feeling slightly self conscious, and some people did do a double take. One mama gave me a knowing smile. I felt the need to be discreet. I kept us halfway covered with the sling. I hate to admit that I am not all there yet. I am not completely comfortable nursing in public because I know how some people perceive it. Because it is still a private part, my breasts. I am sure that as we get better at nursing without any glitches I will also be more comfortable feeding her anywhere, covered or not. In the meantime, I will continue to nurse in public without hiding in some dark corner because every single time I do so, I am doing my own small part to make breastfeeding as normal as giving a baby a bottle.

How have you dealt with nursing in public?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

O & M

Sunnies
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Perched
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


Friday, July 1, 2011