Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sleepless but Happy Howl

I've been struggling to put Meep to bed, especially at night.  He seems very tired and ready for bed, appears to be going down to sleep, then suddenly perks up and gets very playful...some call this a second wind and I've been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what I am doing wrong, what i need to do differently.  Last night, I ended up sobbing while he was giggling and playing, and very heavily squirming in my tired and sore arms.  Mario said to just let him come out and play until he got tired again...I stopped crying and then we had a blast watching him tear around.  Tonight, I cracked the door open to show Mario that I was again unsuccessful at putting him down and ask for his advice on what i should do...he could tell by my face that I was not happy, then he saw Xavi's face...HUGE smile and twinkly wide awake eyes, ready to party.  So we did...I caught some of it on video.  Note the "happy howl" he does...throwing his head back and literally howling at us.  He's up past his bedtime so he is still wearing his sleep sack...because it's too hard to struggle with him each time to put on/take off.  We've watched this over and over again...laughing harder each time.  I hope you do too.

(Mind you, Xavi has 4 very sharp teeth):

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beach Day

We had a rare "day" at the beach that almost never was.  It took so long to get everything and everyone ready (mostly me and Xavi...Mario's easy), then we forgot the annual pass and had to pay $15 to get in, then the surf was kind of sucky, then Xavi wouldn't fall asleep and I was frustrated about how hot the sand was as I tried to walk, rock the baby to sleep  while trying to conceal my b-o-o-b with the hooter hider that Xavi was so pissed about, until finally he went down...so I went out for  quick paddle. 

And while I was out the surf picked up a bit and with no one out there, I could try for everything and fall on every wave while I tried to remember everything I had forgotten in my too few and far between surf sessions.  It was fun anyway and I am so glad that I got out there.  Xavi had a quick nap on the beach and then played with Daddy until I got back in.  I took a huge fall (it felt like I fell off of a high ladder) right smack onto my right b-o-o-b and decided that it was time to head in. 

 Then we played with toys, ate sand, and had a good snack while dad went out to rip it up. 

When it was time for the afternoon nap, we packed up the car and headed home.  Sometimes I wonder
if it is worth the time it takes to set up and take down...pack up to get there, pack up to get home...load the van, unload the van...shake the sand out of everything, get it out of Xavi's cracks, and hope it all comes out of him the next day.  Then  I think back on the fun we had; on our own and together, the new experiences for Xavi, and us; and what it feels like to play with him on the beach with the surf pounding, the sun shining on us warm and comforting, and hold him tight as he laughs and smiles.  I had just gotten Xavi down to sleep in his little nap "tent" and wasn't quite calmed down, when this woman said to me "what a sweet 'picture'...enjoy it, it's over far too quickly"...it made me think that as Xavi gets older it WILL get easier: less stuff, less "hassle", less b-o-o-b needed...but that will bring it's own angst:  Xavi in the surf, girls, and what about when he won't want to hang out with mom and dad? 

Yes, it is absolutely worth every bit of "hassle" and a good lesson for me to
stay in each  moment and love it for what it is. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unconditional Love

It's hard to explain how much I love being a mom and it's hard to express how thankful I am for the opportunity to be a mom to this little boy. I feel so blessed that I know what this feels like:  to love unconditionally, to know how much my parents love me, and to see how God has loved & protected me all along.  For the first time in my life, it makes sense.  I get it.
 Mario bought me an apron for my birthday..it's so cute and I love it.  Would I feel the same about receiving a "cute" apron for my birthday 10 years ago?  Probably (or surely) NOT...I interpreted the gift not as "get in the kitchen and make my dinner" but more..."I love that you look so cute taking care of the family"...and I take great pride in doing so.  Here I am pulling the "ultimate" mom maneuver - wearing the apron AND the baby IN the kitchen...and couldn't be happier. 
Right now, Xavi is on his own program.  He crawls where he wants, plays with what he wants, and throws a fit if contained in any way (just imagine the nightmare diaper changes or mama simply interupting playtime with scissors).  But whenever he sees his daddy, he follows him constantly...if not in body, his eyes watch Mario's every  move.  He is always waiting with a smile to see what funny thing dad will do next or just sizing him up...and when he wakes up next to his dad, he smiles and crawls right to him/on top of him.  Here he is imitating his dad working out...such a big boy.
Xavi loves his daddy.  Mario was gone for a few days to take his acupuncture CA state licensing exam.  When Xavi woke up the night he got home and it was Mario who brought him from the crib to me...he stopped crying and just stared.  And then slept the best he had since Mario was gone. 
Since he often picks up on my energy/vibrations, I guess we both felt safer and happy to have dad back home.

I love the games we play.  If you'd told me even two years ago how much fun it would be to build a tower and watch him knock it over...over and over again...I would never have believed it.
 I love his hair and how it curls, especially in the back.
 I love that he loves being naked and how he does this "blee blee" thing with his fingers on his lips/tongue.
 I love making healthy food for my family...fresh vegetable juice for Mario and I; homeade healthy organic meals for the boy.  Only Grammas are allowed to give "special" treats...

Did I mention that I love being Xavi's mom? 

I get it...I know who I am and what I want to do with my life.  I can be a lot of 'things' and I am capable of doing many 'things' but nothing is more important than being MOM.  It certainly doesn't mean that I let myself go, forget my dreams/goals/commitments, or live vicariously through my kids...but it does mean that my family comes first.  No contest.  When I gave birth to Xavi 9 months ago, Karen, my midwife, promised me that I would be a "mama bear"...fiercely protective and fiercely in love with my flesh and blood...especially considering all the fierceness we needed to get through his birth.  I know it is by design.  There is absolutely no condition that could arise in which I wouldn't love my son or protect him at my own peril.  And now as he takes his first steps, first surf, first car, first love...we'll be there, loving him and seeing him as the newborn baby taking his first breath. 
Unconditional love...what a beautiful thing.

Dear Lord, Protect this beautiful little boy. Amen. 

Standing up for something

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Home sweet home

I'm 9 months old!  Check out my kicks!
We've been home just over a week and it's been a long week.  It's always a painful process for "us" to re-adjust to California time and revert back to our "normal" routine. I am tired, but can only imagine how Xavi must feel and it makes me feel so bad. Think of how you feel after a cross country trip, a week of new environments, people, and routine (think fun but exhausting...most family vacations?), and then put yourself in  9 month body jumping back into a regular "work" week...poor baby.   

I love my job and the company that I work for, but those weeks in WI working are crazy.  I ache to hold him all day and when I finally get to, he's so relieved that he falls asleep then plays so hard.. until he can't anymore.  But then he often won't let go of me when it IS time to go to bed...making for some frustrating time for both of us.  Last weekend, I spent Saturday and Sunday holding him for his morning naps instead of fighting to make him sleep in the crib.  We seem to be back on track now and have been having a lot of fun. 

My favorite days are Saturdays when we don't have anything planned.  The day can just go along at a leisurely pace and our activities are simple.  That is the day I can focus on Xavi and have quality time with him...no distractions, no expectations, no lists of things to do (OK...still have those but I don't look at them on Saturdays anymore). 

He loves when we "chase" him around the house...ok, so everyone is crawling but he sees us coming and darts away squealing.  We chase after him...sometimes to get the object out of his hand (like paper he insists on eating/choking on or my phone) but sometimes it's just to hear him laugh.  He laughs and growls...smiling so we can see all of his teeth.  And since he's been standing on his own...he will "rear" up from a crawling position to stand up or just to "rawr" like a bear.  Then "run" away again. 

Hey mom...catch me if you can.  (Do you see the twinkle?)
I got your phone...


Catch me...heehee (see him watch me out of the corner of his eye)
Last weekend was a challenging one for Xavi and I, but once we heard the news about the helo getting shot down and losing 22 more SEALs (8/6/11)...it put it all into perspective.  Each day that we are given is another blessing and every challenge we are given the opportunity to face is also a blessing.  Those men left behind moms and dads, wives and girlfriends, sons and daughters  who will not have another day with their loved one.  Sometimes it is easy to forget and take the sunrise for granted...hold on tight.  Life is short.  Get down on your hands and knees and crawl..listen to the laughing and hold on tight.  I pray that the families of those men will find peace and that each of us will honor them with our lives. 

Open mouth, insert...everything

This toy has a hole in it and so he makes whistling noises while this "plugs" his mouth
PS - Yes, his shirt says "Hung like a Five Year Old".  thanks Uncle Luis, Aunt Laura, and Cousin Vince
I found this in the cupboard...figured since I now have 4 teeth, I better start brushing!
The phone has a magnetic quality on Xavi...it's VERY difficult to distract him from it.
mmmm...good ol coffee

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer trip to Wisconsin

My birthday was a very special day...in the past I've been sad on my birthday. 
It seemed like I was waiting for something to happen, someone to be there...
since I met Mario, I've had only happy birthdays but this one in particular was a very happy day...
and it went sooo fast. 

Xavi and my birthday flowers
Debbie kindly stayed with Xavi so that we could go surf and have breakfast.  The surf wasn't great but as ALWAYS, we had so much fun in the water together.  It feels like we are kids...again?  still?  Breakfast at Pipes, my fave, was awesome and we came home to our darling little boy.  Xavi and I spent the day together while dad studied.  Then we had a second! date for dinner and a movie.  Suddenly, the day was over and we were leaving the next morning on an airplane.  (Would someone remind  me to have an actual photo of me and my man next time?  geez...)

partying on the car ride to LAX
Xavi was great on the hour long car ride and the four hour (gulp) long plane ride and the 45 minute final car ride...there is just no easy way to do this with an infant...let alone a growing, busy 9 month old boy. 

what's up mom?!
Gramma and Grampa were happy to have us.  And we LOVED swimming in the pool every chance we could. 

Our lil grom

I needed help a few times with Xavi as I had work responsibilities.  Granna and Poppa Phee walked and rocked and went to the zoo and put down to nap and fed yummy food.  It took two but they did a great job.  Apparently, if dad left the room, Xavi would cry until he came back.  What was that about?  Maybe it was the security of another guy around?  Maybe he missed his daddy?  We sure missed him...

And as quickly as the days go by...the week was over and it was time to go home.  It's always sad to leave mom and dad and their beautiful home in a peaceful corner of the world.  What  a nice oasis AND bonus of the travel...time with gramma and grampa...and mom and dad.  I don't think we ever outgrow our "need" for mom and dad in our life... the relationship certainly changes and us kids end up lecturing our parents on lifestyle (RELAX!), diet (well, mom and dad were doing purification and ate really well...no sugar, not even one smore, well... I had one), and exercise (intervals, hills, bands, oh my!).  In the end, it's nice to be with someone who knew you when...you weren't quite you, yet!

Another long day of cars, planes, luggage, and lines...safe and sound...and exhausted.  
We were coming home with one thing on our mind...seeing Daddy again.  
Coming home is always nice...especially when home is this handsome.