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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life's Lessons.

Someone remind me, who is learning from who here? I am fairly certain that up to this point my girls have taught me far more than what I have taught them.


On the lesson plans lately:


And of course... The absolutely enlightening lightness of thinking like a child.

(forgive the poor photo quality, but this photo of my two girls means so much to me. Mila's alertness when her sister is around, Olivia's innate protective nature toward her baby sister, and their matching saucer eyes.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two months old.

Olivia and Mila, each at two months.

My honey girl is already two months old. She smiles and coos and searches the room for me with those eyes that go on forever. She is a doll, smells like heaven.

And yes, naturally my kids are really big fans of The Smiths.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

La Abuelita.

Death is so final. Sometimes I go to pick up the phone to call my grandmother- for a recipe, or a natural remedy for newborn congestion. Maybe it's just to hear her voice always happy to hear mine or validation on a topic she holds true as strongly as I do. Saturday mom and I went to have breakfast with my grandpa and the dinner table seemed too long and the chairs so empty. Every time I go over there I feel the need to mention her, casually. What I really want to do is ask my grandpa how he does it without her. The day to day. After a lifetime together how does he feel now?

It kills me a little she hasn't seen Mila's big blue eyes or heard Olivia's eager bilingual vocabulary. I need to lean on her as a woman and mother. She was so strong and with a heart so big. How did she balance both? I'll be sure to remind my girls they both met her, she passed when my Mila belly was blossoming and every time she saw me she would cradle the growing bump with her hand. She's felt her.

This post isn't a sad one. I feel happy thinking of her, content knowing that her lessons have stuck with me. With all of us, her daughters and grand-daughters. She taught me the importance of family, intelligence, virtue, and faith. I wish I had a photo to post of her when she was young and mothering EIGHT children. Just picture a 50s housewife, complete with finger curls and a curve hugging dress.

My girls will admire my mother like I do hers. That is a gift. So are her reminders to always stand straight, live with purpose, feed my brain, and wear lipstick.

My grandma and her five beautiful daughters at my wedding 10.8.10


Monday, August 15, 2011

Call me crazy.

Even after the fullest day. The loudest scream. The tangliest octopus toddler. The clingiest eight week old. Heavy arms. Tired legs.
I see them both asleep. Dreaming. Their eyes, respectively, are usually so large and stare at me expectantly. Now they are just tiny slits I barely make out in the dark. A pair of tiny chests slowly breathe up and down.
A sigh of relief and I pour a glass of wine.
After listening to music and writing and decompressing I am light again. And I miss them. The quiet is loud when you become so used to noise.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Love, marriage.

I wonder why evolution hasn't helped couples also psychologically shift in unison after becoming parents. We create life together as man and woman, but then our different hormones and experiences from conception to birth lead us to dealing with having children in a completely different way. As women, we switch into mother mode as soon as we see the positive pregnancy test. So many changes occur within our bodies continuously throughout those gestational months and we cannot get away from it. Men are tied into this by approximation, because they supplied the sperm. After a stressful day at the office or while dealing with the fear of imminent fatherhood a man can kick back and drink a beer. Or go for a long motorcycle ride alone, a fishing trip with the buddies, or worse.

Then, the babies come and as both enjoy the joy and fatigue of a newborn, the difference in experience continues. You see each other in a different light, and a new love, but now there is a little something in between. Your tiny creation. Before it was just two pillows and one blanket on the bed, cuddle room for two. Now there are burp rags and diapers and baby spit marks. So then at the end of another hectic day and you finally see your husband at the other end of that couch where do you pick up?


How much conversation can you have when all you did today was finally shave your legs, breastfeed, play at the park, drive around to induce nap time, go to Target, clean a poo disaster, teach your toddler about hot/cold, and have two sweet bodies smother you all day? After being mom since 6am I wish it was easier to slip into another role. Fun partner, sexy housewife, drinking buddy even. It's hard to seamlessly be all of those things, but it helps if you change out of your milk stained tank top.

The marrried with two kids aspect of our relationship is still lost on me. We are so young, I don't drive a van, and Todd doesn't wear a tie to work. Is there a limbo a couple can hang out in once they are past the free and dating phase but not quite in the grown up phase? When I look at my kid's dad I still see the the same guy that would pick me up on a rickety old Vespa during my lunch break at work and sing along to every Morrissey song that we listened to as we drove for the sake of driving. Maybe there is the key. In still loving each other for who we are as individuals and not as mom/dad/wife/husband. Perhaps we are on the right track if he instantly noticed when I finally wore real (!!) jeans after months of leggings and still smacks my butt when I walk by with loads of laundry in my arms...


Sunday, August 7, 2011


It's so much fun having a little person in my life like Olivia. She is like a hurricane of emotions: excitement, frustration, joy, silliness, defiance, mischievousness. Sometimes all of the feelings are experienced in a ten minute time frame. Big kisses, loud screams, sweet giggling.

I'm having a blast experiencing firsts with her. It's always a big deal as a parent when your baby rolls over for the first time or says "mama". These milestones are exciting because they start to reveal the tiny human inside of that small blob of newborn we grow used to. Still, I've found these don't quite compare to experiencing the firsts of toddlerhood. First time going down the curly slide all alone and going "weeeee" all the way down, or the first cream center of an Oreo and saying "yummmm". There is the first street festival and pointing at all the rides and the of course the shock of the first time the Pacific slapped her in the face while playing in the ocean.

Today she got her face painted at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival and the look on her precious face when she looked in the mirror was so worth the $7. If you have met Olivia you'll be shocked to hear she sat PERFECTLY still the entire time. Like a big girl.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's shocking to have time to put in my contacts, shower, wear eyeliner, AND do my hair. I'd been hiding under glasses and messy buns!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I came out to the car tonight to grab the rest of the groceries. My brother in law is in the process of moving to a new apartment and his couch is sitting in our driveway while he gets situated. The air is still warm and a little sticky, it's so quiet and the crickets are chirping. The babies and husband are cozy inside, I can see the artificial glow of the lights in every window. Now I'm sitting on the couch and all I hear is the occasional car rush down the street and these crickets. The air has a relaxing heaviness to it. I never noticed how low the pepper tree branches droop, delicately grazing the trunk of the car and the brick fence. Its shadow is large and uneven. Pepper trees are my only company and it's so nice to just breathe this clean air. There's really no purpose to this post other than to share how wonderful it is to just kick my feet up in the driveway of our house on this beautiful August night.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Books & Babes.

Last night after both babies were asleep Todd and I were watching our Sunday night TV show (Breaking Bad) and I noticed all the back to school commercials. They're aimed to an older college going audience- laptops and fuel economy cars. I mentioned I wish I was starting a new school semester in the fall. New notebooks, professors, lots of lattes and lectures. I felt a twinge of jealousy. He is a full-time student. I put my academic life on hold so he could continue his. Doesn't sound fair, does it?

When you have kids before attaining all your professional and financial goals you have to make deals, sacrifices. In order for Todd to make money and also finish his degree it isn't feasible for me to also go to school full-time. Where would the girls fit in? Well, that's easy. We'd both school and work and put the girls in daycare.

After thinking about it for a minute I realized I cannot resent/envy my husband for getting to go to school. Though he fully supports me continuing my education and career goals he is also supporting my current main goal. This is to be with my daughters. There is no pressure from him to help pay the bills or make sure the house is spotless.

I am sacrificing the university life but gaining my home life. I am not sacrificing the books forever, I just can't. It's too important to me. However, any time Olivia learns a new word or when Mila takes her first steps I will be there. I can't freeze their babyhood and come back to it later. When we can't have it all we have to pick and choose. I chose them.


For a while I worked, thankfully I am good at a thing or two that paid decent and our (then) family of three was living a good (simple) life. But, I hated every morning I would drop Olivia off to my mom or sister. She was fine but the pull was too strong. I know where I needed to be. Who knows what may happen in a year, things may change, but for now this is what we need to be doing. If you have read the blog for a bit you know that ours isn't a cookie cutter life. Things keep coming, some going, and I know that in the grand scheme of our adventure together we will take on many roles. So long as we keep moving toward something... but the girls come first.