9/08/2014

old me vs. new me


amidst the diaper changes, tantrum-soothing, besitos-giving, "am i doing this right?" doubt, there lies the old me. the pre-baby me. the me that swore i never would do this or that. that would never be that parent. i laugh at myself now, because i am a walking contradiction of everything i never thought i'd be. i didn't fantasize about white weddings, a suburban lifestyle and a party of three. but here i am and more times than not, it is difficult to even remember what life was like 19 months ago. has it really only been less than two years? perhaps it's the constant sleep deprivation, the need to not f up, even when i realize on the spot that i am, but old "me," seems so distant and faraway. how ever did i stay up all night and out-drink any grown man? how ever did i party so hard every day of the weekend? how ever was i the social butterfly that was in love with joining groups of friends, so we could be friends, and do it every weekend? [circa puff daddy reference, anyone]? [which again, reminds me of that time in vegas when i got to party with him #truestory]!

the old me who would loudly cheer across the bar to my boyfriend [now husband] that she just saved him money by having the guy next to her buy her a drink....well, that girl is now replaced by this version of me that rarely touches anything but water. whose life revolves around toddler style, themed foods, and minimizing toys in my living room [yes, that is a basketball hoop by the couch, thank you very much]. remember the nevers i used to proudly say?...yeah, f that. sippy cups that last through tantrums, mama playdates, and balancing my career are my new jam.


but this week i have had three instances where i felt like old me. and it felt f'ing fantastic.

two of them including cuddling my baby boy and him not asking to nurse- in the 19 months of his life, i had never experienced that, unless he had fallen asleep on me after nursing and i had managed to get him unlatched without waking. 
our sleeping beauty
the third was my husband's birthday weekend. i should point out that on his actual birthday evening we were reunited after he was away on business all week. we went out to dinner with his family and we all came home for ice cream cake. well, oliver's new kitchen [you know, to match the rad decor in my living room] came in and we spent the next three hours building that cute thing. to think that a birthday landing on a friday night would typically excite us and we would plan a weekend of celebration and debauchery around it...and here we were. not even having a glass of wine!

we're so pro, it only took us three hours.
However, the next night, we went over to our loves' homes. the couple who always joined us out on our past lives. together, we all laughed, sipped on non-water [actually, we all kept multiple water bottles by our sides, at all times], and had one of the best nights eeever. and it felt like old me. but different. because now new me, although not as cool or wild, more boring and reserved, confused and doubtful, is also pretty rad. i do love my life. i love the tight knit, circle of friends that understand and partake in new forms of debauchery. the type of friends who rush through conversations as we are parting in order to make sure we laugh in person, yet hurry back home before we all become pumpkins. which we did. so next time, we start earlier. because these evenings, oh these evenings, are more than meant to be had. so worth it. so needed. so fun.


what do you miss? what do you look forward to?













9/03/2014

// 19 months //


Age: 19 whole baby months and officially, I can admit, into toddlerhood!

Stats:
Last month, Oliver was at almost 33 inches tall and almost 29 lbs! I need to measure and weigh him today!

Activities: baby boy loves his bike- he loves poppin' wheelies like he knows exactly what he is doing. It's so cute to watch him go over any cracks by poppin' a wheelie. He loves books, especially right before bedtime. He crawls into his teepee, gives Honey Munster cuddles and reads books. He will ask us to turn on his teepee lights, and read "buuk" after "buuk." All of course, in a desperate measure to prolong bedtime as long as possible! It's been so sweet to observe him pick up his toy cars and make them vroom along paths he creates. These paths are not limited to our bodies! ;)

Moods: Happy, energetic, wild, full of tantrums and rough!
I don't know if we are trying to tame him too much, if this is a phase, or just him!
ah, parenthood! This toddler totally is good about staying in his time-outs though!
Sleep: No major changes here. He knows when it's time to go to sleep and doesn't fight it too much. We are to the point where I lay him in his crib every night (most nights he fusses or cries for a bit), I hold his hand, sing "twinkle, twinkle, little star," or read an extra book until he falls asleep. He does wake up often asking for agua (water), and I am concerned he is becoming dependent on water throughout the night, since we are officially wean(ing). He has been finally looking for his lovies (blankies) which I think is the cutest thing. 

New Words: 
-this baby boy can repeat pretty much anything!
Our favorite thing to hear him say is "no" because he says it in such a cute voice.
I'll have to record it! It's funny because Geoff feared him learning "no" and using it against us. 
But instead, it's so sweet!

Favorite Foods: My baby boy is becoming picky! He seriously will choose one food and only want that! He loves bread, pizza (grandma has taken him to chuck e. cheese a couple of times and he now asks for it- wah), broccoli, cheese, pancakes, yogurt, cottage cheese, and any berries!

Nursing: See this post!
The last time I nursed him was on September 1st- we made it to 19 months. 
I think I am done....Ah!

Favorite Things: Still obsessed with all things kitchen, all things with motors, going on our nightly sunset "by ry" (bike ride), jumping (funniest thing ever), working out (this kid can lift weights my client's use!), eating, the pool, bubbles, music and books. 


Signature Moves: jumping! oh man, the cutest and funniest thing EVER!

Mommy's Proudest Moment: 

Daddy's Proudest Moment:  


This Month's Highlights:
- we nursed all the way to 19 months!
- we celebrated Natalia's 3rd birthday at the pool and you were so funny! You posed for cupcakes and wouldn't go into the water by yourself- butthead!
- you began sleeping with your lovie and asking for agua every night!
- you continue to use the potty. Still not potty trained, but definitely headed that way. 
- you love putting on mama's heels and strutting your stuff
- you had a playdate with Asher, your baby bff, and for the first time, you were so obsessed with loving on him. you wanted him to play with all your things and you wanted to hold, hug, and kiss him. so sweet!
- you became obsessed with sunset bike rides- every night!
- you stayed with daddy overnight while mama went to celebrate Titi Is.
- you had two all day playdates at Grandma's! 
- you worked out constantly, haha! 



-You got so sick, baby. A viral throat infection. With mouth sores and a high fever. You wanted to eat but it hurt your little mouth so much. You would walk me to the fridge and ask for food but when you would take the first bite, you would gently place your hand near (but not on) your mouth and whimper, "nononononono!" Seriously, one of the saddest experiences! It took 4-5 days for you to recover completely. Thank God you did! Such a trooper, as always!






8/14/2014

// mamahood: world breastfeeding week //


Today concludes world breastfeeding week! I am amazed at the fact that this is the second week of its kind that I have been proud to celebrate. I have been wanting to write about our breastfeeding journey and this seems like the appropriate time, as we are currently and officially weaning at 18 months.

Our nursing journey has been one of the biggest rollercoasters as a mama and woman I have ever embarked upon. I knew from the moment I was pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed, primarily and solely because I had done so much research on how beneficial it would be for our baby. It helps decrease the chances of diabetes and cancer, among other risk diminutives, both of which my husband has or has had. If I can do anything to decrease my baby's risk of attaining or developing either (or other) diseases, you bet your ass, I am going to.

My midwife and nurses knew that I wanted nothing to do with bottles, pacifiers of formula and I didn't want any pain meds or interventions all with the primary purpose to be able to nurse as soon as our baby wanted to. I even requested for him not to get cleaned up right away so that I could have some skin-to-skin time and let him nurse if he wanted. Not because I'm a strong martyr, but because I wanted what was best for my baby. Not best for anyone else's baby or family- but simply for mine. Because if there's one thing I quickly learned as my girlfriends were having babies, it's that what is best for one mama and her family, is not necessarily best for another. and that is MORE than OKAY! I also quickly learned that everything I ever said I would NOT do...well, I should just shut my mouth because I would do it, and did! *cough*co-sleeping*ahem! Anyway, I was able to follow my birth plan (holy shit, that was the most physically painful experience of my life)!

The first latch, I was praised, was perfect. It hurt like hell, though. It was recommended that I start pumping to bring in my milk faster, since I was so adamant about nursing exclusively. So, I did! Long story as short as it can be, I ended up overproducing....

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You know, I have spent a week trying to write this post. & I can't find a way to shorten it because my journey has been SO long, SO hard and SO amazing, simultaneously.

So let's break it down:

Think of all the issues one can have with breastfeeding and pumping: I had them! From oversupply, to under, to only one boob, to my baby having both a lip tie and a tongue tie and no one believing me (multiple doctors, lactation consultants, and finally a specialist who was our saving grace); followed by everyone telling me to just quit; craniosacral therapy; baby chiropractors; pumping while working; lipase (an enzyme) in my frozen milk; my baby not sleeping and being heavily attached; etc; etc; etc!

But we made it! 18 months strong as can be!

We started the weaning process at 11 months, haha! It took me SEVEN months to wean him! Ahh! But we went slow and steady. I started by substituting one session with (unsweetened almond) milk per week or two until we simply felt ready to replace another feeding. Oliver was extremely attached to me and would NOT take naps or go to sleep at night without nursing to sleep. So that, naturally, became the last feeding that we worked on. I practiced the "don't offer, but don't refuse" approach and that worked well for us. But I started noticing that no matter how much I tried to distract him in hopes of him realizing he didn't need it, he still did. My baby boy was extremely comforted by nursing. It was our time. Only ours. His little eyes would roll back and he would take a deep sigh of comfort. His little body would relax, his toes would uncurl. He would play with my face, or hair, or practice his gymnurstics. It was simply our time. There were other times, when I just felt like a human pacifier. Times I didn't feel that sweet connection, and instead felt that it was a habit. I wondered what it would be like to be a mama who didn't nurse; whose baby or toddler didn't depend on her in such a way.

For months I knew I would be going out of town for a weekend and my anxiety of leaving him for the first time was enormous. I cried at the idea of him calling out for me and not finding me. Of me not being able to comfort him and meet his every moment need, in his times of need. But I did. And so did he. And I came back and realized I hadn't nursed him in two days. TWO WHOLE DAYS and NIGHTS! As soon as he saw me and we settled in, he wanted to nurse. But between G and I, we decided there was no turning back if this was something we really wanted to move forward with. Because TWO WHOLE DAYS AND NIGHTS are too hard to do all over again. So slowly, and painfully, I moved into more and more days. And now, it's been two weeks. The first being the hardest. With my body wanting to continue producing and the pain and discomfort that comes with that. With my baby wanting to nurse and the pain that comes for both of us. But something magical has happened: my baby boy has discovered his Daddy. All of a sudden, there are two parents and he favors, finally. & to see the love and excitement in my husband's eyes every single time he walks in through the door and hears "DAHD!" from his 18 month old boy, I mean...seriously!

I am a bit sad. I am melancholy. I feel like Oliver is growing and changing and I am no longer his number one. Growing pains, I guess. His personality and attitude are adjusting and I am just...there, at times. I know that this transition will smooth out. I thought I would be jumping up for joy, feeling liberated and free. And yet, I feel a bit sad and unsure.

So I am making a conscience effort to turn my attention to my husband, per Oliver's cues. Because our relationship has been put on hold for the last 18 months as I nurtured and fed our baby boy. And now that our baby is a toddler and requires less of me, my husband requires more. So here's to my baby boy and my Babe.

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So last night, after finishing up this blog post during the day, I couldn't get our nursing relationship out of our mind. So I texted Geoff and told him I needed closure and needed to nurse Oliver one more time. His initial reaction was concern for setbacks but immediately told me he would support me in whatever I decided. I have been working 13+ hour days this week so I was so excited and anxious to get home. We did our typical bedtime routine with Oliver choosing a few books to read before bed. This time, he wanted to read in his teepee. We read a couple of books but my heart was racing with nervousness- what if he didn't need me anymore. I asked him if he wanted to nurse- he smiled and nodded and got into position. He latched on hesitantly, a bit unsure about what to do and while he figured it out, he looked up at me, touched my face with his chubby little hand and smiled- first with his eyes, and then with his whole face, lighting up my heart and making tears stream down my face. He repeatedly would drink, look up at me, caress my face or hair, hike up his leg, settle in, smile, chuckle, and exude all the love I needed. It was truly a euphoric experience. It was as if he knew and understood eeeeevery single struggle we went through; every tear of pain, happiness, frustration...each emotional rollercoaster we went on. He understood and was letting his mama know how loved I am and appreciative he is. It may sound silly but I swear it's true. Geoff was with us and we both talked to him a lot...he kept nodding his little head and chuckling and breathing in deep sighs of comfort. His little fingers curled around different parts of my face and hair....and then he started signing for "more" while still latched on. I guess this meant that there wasn't much milk left in there. I told him there was no more and he closed his little eyes, smiled and nodded as if he understood. He started to squeeze with both hands trying to express the little that he could, and because I didn't want him (or I) to get frustrated or ruin this extremely special moment, I asked him if he was all done. He shook his head no, but still latched off. With tears streaming down my face, I asked him for a kiss..He grabbed my face as he usually does, and gave me a dozen kisses. It was the PERFECT seal to our experience. Sigh. These words cannot even convey how this felt. I took him to his bed and laid him down. He grabbed his cup, his Lobo, and then for the first time, grabbed his comfort blankies (that he has never used but we keep in his crib, juuust in case) and snuggled it all...He stuck his little chubby baby hand through the railings of his crib, said "hi," grabbed my hand and after some tossing, turning, conversation, and snuggling, drifted off to sleep...

I am so grateful for this experience. It has changed me in more ways than I never imagined. I am stronger, more determined, more capable. I believe in myself, in my body, in my mamahood experience. I have had the most amazing support and have been able to share this experience. I have been motivated and inspired. I don't know where this leaves my nursing relationship. But I am not looking to label it. If last night was our final session, then so be it. If today, we nurse again, then so be it. All I know is that I needed that and I truly believe my baby boy did, too.

Forever in love. 


7/30/2014

// on colloquialism + summer's end //

I recently realized that a lot of the words and phrases that I have casually picked up are super negative!

Case and point:

"i die!"
"dying!"
"shuuuutup!"
"shut your face!"
"get out of here!"
"staaaahhhp!"
"you're on fia!"

& that doesn't even begin to count my favorite word that begins with the letter 'f' and i use as a verb, noun, and adjective. 

I know I have more but those just came to mind and made me laugh! What are yours?

                                               ----
On another note, yesterday was my last full day off for summer break and I got to spend the entire day with my little man. We woke up, worked out, and rushed out the door to meet our bffers. We went to the library and had soo much fun with them, as always!
      
Asher & Titi twinning! Love my little guy!! xo
O practiced how to stick out his tongue at people after going to work with Mama for three whole hours!

Twinning since 2013

In the evening, we played ball outside & then O and I made pizza for dinner!
                             

                                                             

7/28/2014

Work it Out, Mama!

I recently went on our second annual family vacation! One week of living on the beach does the soul oh-so-good! I knew that I definitely wanted to indulge with treats and lots of rest + relaxation, but I definitely did not want to stop working out. It truly is such a big part of my every day routine, the equivalency to therapy for this counselor.

I started off every morning with taking Oliver to the park with Geoff and watching them play while I worked out! I took my sandbag so I could add weight as needed- perfect! Everyone surrounding us was really active, too! I loved seeing people around me working out, too! After my 30 minute workouts, we would go back to the house, the whole family would get on their bikes, Oliver would climb onto his running stroller, and we would run 3 miles along the beach! It was the best way to start off our mornings! I am craving it as I type! The oceanside views were ideal for running outdoors! 

After a few days, and lots of questions from other mamas at the park regarding exercises and working out while playing with their babies, I decided it'd be fun to share different exercises that others can incorporate into their routines. Whether at home or at the park, you can incorporate these basic exercises to help you meet your goals, all while teaching your bebes healthy habits! 

I currently workout six days a week and change my workout routines every 4-6 weeks. I do lots of HIIT (high intensity interval training) using a timer (50 seconds of hard work/10 seconds of rest, 30 minutes total) with heavy lifting, and plyometrics incorporated. This is what works for me and I truly find enjoyable. I do not enjoy running or steady-state cardio but sometimes add it in to challenge myself. Usually, if I hate doing an exercise, I add it more into my routine because I tend to be weak in the ones I detest. 

I had Geoff film some quick ideas and exercises to share with you! Hope you enjoy them and they give you ideas! Feel free to ask any questions and I'll be happy to share! Modify these as you wish! Always watch your footing, your baby's placement, and your own fitness level! Don't have a baby? Borrow one or use weights! Does your ideal vacation not include workouts? Then don't! Do what suits you, guilt-free! But do hydrate! ;)

Mama + Babe Exercises
-sit-ups with baby raise
-leg lifts with reverse crunch
-baby chest press
-squats with variations (narrow, shoulder, wide)
-walking lunges
-walking lunges with front kick
-sumo pulses
-step ups with leg lift

Exercises at the Park
-box jumps on ledge
-swing pikes
-swing push up with knee tuck
-tricep dips
-tricep dips with alternating leg lifts
-high knees
-I deleted my monkey bars + pulls ups because they were pretty pathetic, haha! New goals!


& just because he is so rad, #odcm's renditions of the following exercises:
-leg lifts
-squats
-lunges (I think!)
-burpees
and the last clip: he saw a pretty toddler mamacita and homeboy could not keep his eyes off her!

I have to add that prior to going on this vacation, I was pretty hard on myself. My husband kept telling me I was in amazing shape but I just couldn't see it. Then during this vacation, he snapped some pictures of me that made me finally "see" myself the way he does. Something clicked in my head. I am so proud of what I have been able to accomplish and to finally start to see my hard work paying off in my strength, endurance and aesthetics.

Am I 100% where I ideally want to be? Nope! Am I happy with my progress? Heck yes! I have built muscles I never expected to have and have kept in shape year round- not just for summer or specific events! I eat a healthy, yet balanced diet every day- including more treats than I care to admit! I do not work out to pig out, I work out because it makes me feel amazingly unstoppable, undeafeatable, and releases my frustrations; I pig out because I simply love to eat and usually can out-eat most grown men, hahaha!

Let's workout, homegirls!




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