September 26, 2013

TT - Technology

Super quick post this week as I am swamped with work, our client had her bathroom demoed over the weekend and this was the first we had heard that she wanted to do it over. The conversation Monday morning went, "So Malcom (her contractor) said I would save about $700 if I demoed the bathroom this weekend, so I did it. Can you help me put it back together?" Wow :) I am thankful this week for technology.
It has its ups and downs, but most are up for this (part-time) working mama. I am able to work from home so I can capture these moments, literally!

Can you guess what she did, again??

Please excuse the messy bed :)

September 24, 2013

One year ago.....

Happy Anniversary! It has been one busy year.

All photos by Laura Villasenor

What are we going to do next year? ;)

September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursdays - Breastfeeding

As I was cleaning up the kitchen this evening I felt an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. No its not Thanksgiving yet, but I have been blessed in so many aspects of my life and they are more clear now that I am a mother. Inspired by this evening and trying to savor the moments like my last post I have decided to start a Thankful Thursday ritual. My goal is to reflect on one thing each week. It will make me get here to catalog all these moments, the thoughts that race through my head and help me embrace the present. I plan to still post at other times about more than what I am thankful for.

To start I am very thankful that I have the ability and opportunity to breastfeed. After my post about getting settled you would think I hated it. Robert noted that I didn't paint a very pretty picture about breastfeeding, but the truth is it is not what I had expected it to be. But now that I am 12 weeks in I love it. I love that I can soothe her, feed her, and watch her grow during this magical time. It not only makes my heart melt, but some of her funniest moments and most of her personality really comes out during this time.

Just like she is a noisy sleeper she can be a very noisy eater. There are moments when she lets out these very girly sighs as she is eating and other times these sloppy snorty smacky noises come from her. I think she is her noisiest when her Daddy is trying to get some sleep nearby :) Watching her facial expressions tell me so much about her. For instance many times we arrive at feeding time grumpy and a little frustrated, maybe she is ready for bed or maybe she is just getting up and I am taking too long. Either way her eyes are wide and annoyed, but as soon as she latches on they take on a eagerness and when the milk starts flowing they change to relaxed. Have you ever gotten a massage and you felt so relaxed you let your eye lids sort of fall to a half way open position saying "oh that feels goooood" that sort of what she looks like. It cracks me up.

Robert tells me all the time that I wear my emotions on my face, I express my anger, annoyance, sorrow, and excitement right there. I guess I would make a horrible poker player ;) I have been told by my sister that Marilyn has my facial expressions and I feel like I can read her facial expressions vividly, especially when she is eating. I really love to watch her eyes. Sometimes they dart around looking at the bookcase through my side and arm, sometimes they stare back at me, sometimes she focuses intently on the freckle on my left bicep, or sometimes they are closed. When she takes the time to stare up at me she often will indulge me in a big smile which is adorable! Other times she will furrow her eyebrows and look away, or even funnier she will cover her face with her hand as if I am the stocking paparazzi. This is too funny! There are also the times that she will come off really fast and give out a "whaaa" and then go immediately back on as if it never happened. This makes me giggle tremendously, what is with that? Is she trying to tell me she doesn't like squash etc? Ha! I just love that she has so much personality even though she is so young.

Next thing that I love about breastfeeding is it gives me a chance to see how much she has grown. I don't mean size wise although you can really see it as her feet hang lower and lower off the side of the rocking chair, but I can see it in her movements. I told you about her Michael Phelps arms, and it is these arms that communicate how much she is developing. She started with this almost blinded feelings, like someone trying to walk down the hall when the power has gone out. Then there were the fist slaps, literally her flying fist would hit me as she was eating (this would eventually calm down as she ate more). Then there were the straight up punches. She would take her fist and punch it into me as if to get the milk flowing. One of my favorites has been the full on slap, probably because it reminds me of a drinking game a minor showed this old lady. "Slap the Pig" as it is called, involves a boxed wine, slapping hands, and lets just say you better hope you are not getting a demonstration on brand new wood floors :) Of course if this is what Marilyn is doing that would entail that I am a pig, I am not sure I like that too much. But either way she seems again to be seeking an increase in the flow. See the "tap" runs a little slower at times and this frustrates her. Her newest hand/arm movement is really sweet, she is tickling me almost as if she is playing the piano. Little fingers moving up and down then grasping lightly. It is really sweet.

Lastly I am thankful for breastfeeding because it has created such an amazing bond between us. She needs me for food and for now is able to get that nourishment only from me. That in itself is amazing. The fact that she is living off of me is just somewhat unbelievable. She knows me, searches out for me, and is comforted by me. She can be beside herself and I have the ability to calm her. When she got her first set of vaccinations and was HYSTERICAL from the shots, I was able to calm her. It's wonderful and is why Robert gets so nervous when I talk about leaving him alone with her to do something else.

When I was having all those nursing issues to start I used to say "Men should at least be able to breastfeed". I felt like their role was so minor in this whole process and if I had to endure the pain of labor he could at least endure some of the pain of breastfeeding. However, that pain has pretty much subsided and I am left with this "magical" experience (no wonder everyone says what they do about it) that I would not give up for anything, even the lotto!


Tummy time after breakfast.

September 16, 2013

Little Moments

Tomorrow Marilyn will be twelve weeks and as I got her out of the car after running some work related errands today I realized how much I love the stage we are at. She is smiling a lot, which is instant gratification, she is cooing, beginning to take on a nap schedule, she has found her thumb, she can hold her head up, and she is grasping things unintentionally. There is something about this baby stage that I just love. I can kiss and snuggle up to her, play with her, yet set her down and know that she won't be chasing Ralphie or pulling something down on herself. I can see that she is on the cusp of the next stage so I am desperately soaking up the moment.

Two weeks ago we visited my parents for Mom's big 5-0 birthday :) and Marilyn was an angel. She slept through the night every night we were there and took these long luxurious naps. She really was on vacation. We were able to get her in the pool, which she loved, twice. You should have seen her in in her lavender polka dot bikini from her Aunt Shelly, she was TOO cute. She even got in with her Uncle Cliff who made her laugh by blowing bubbles at her. She had a great time with her cousin Cameron and even met her new cousin Adelyn (two weeks old). She did some fine dining, farmers market shopping, and bargain hunting as well as lots of socializing, no wonder she slept so well!

It was during this trip that she proved to us that she could push herself up and move her head to look around. This seemed like a huge milestone at the time. The Doctor says that once they can do this be prepared for them to roll over and just yesterday she did. She had been exercising herself during tummy time in a way that looked like she was getting ready. She would normally rock herself almost there and occasionally I'd help her go the extra mile which would result in a few cries. This time however I was just watching her do her thing and then bam she was over, and no tears. I was so excited I sprung off the bed (where we were lying) and began clapping and saying "you did it, you did it, you rolled over". She looked at me like I was nuts, seriously. She has these great eyebrow movements that tell me what she is thinking all the time. Daddy was of course in the other room catching one of his favorite pass We put her on the bed to see if she would do it again. As soon as we laid her down she rolled over but we are not sure if that was all her or if we were weighing down the bed somehow, it happened so fast. Since then she has not done it, but now we know its possible, so just like sleeping through the night, we can expect it will happen again.

Marilyn's neck is so strong it seems that the only time it needs support is when she is really tired. It sort of flops all over the place, but then again when I get really tired mine does that too :) Now we spend lots of time walking around the house looking and talking about all the things she will someday get into. She has discovered the baby in the mirror and is very flirty with her. The first time she met this baby she realized that her mom was holding this baby and began to cry. Now they meet eyes and many smiles, drool, and the occasional raise of the eyebrows are exchanged. She is also fascinated with what that baby in the mirror is wearing especially the pjs with little flowers or her striped pants. It is so fun to watch. She sends her right arm towards this baby as if to grab her and seems satisfied when it just hits the mirror. When we were having play time with her cousin Cameron this similar action took place, except after a while he was able to grab her and held on to her arm. He is a month older so it is neat to see the differences between them, there is so much when they are so young.

If there is one thing that I could have done differently to prepare for her arrival it is in the nursery. I would have decorated it in Black and White. You are probably thinking "What?!" black and white for a nursery yuck. I am not thinking goth black and white, studs or skulls, think more french stripes. I believe it can be done. But why you ask? Because she absolutely loves things that are contrasting like that. For instance she loves the valance in her nursery, the navy grosgrain against the ivory linen fascinates her. Lately I have been using the pillow made from my grandmother's walking coat to support my back in the rocking chair and as she is supposed to be burping I catch her smiling and flirting with the birds on the pillow. In fact she loves these birds so much I have noticed this new mouthing action when she sees them. I think she is showing some serious excitement and it seems only for them. She smiles, coos or does a half laugh (ha-ea), and then with mouth wide open mouths my shoulder and repeats, all the while her right arm is hitting the birds. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite times. In my office I have a few items made out of a black and white fabric and she loves to stare at these too. Next to light fixtures which are her true love, and maybe the birds on the pillow, she loves anything with a big contrast.

We are having so much fun watching her grow minute by minute. It is truly amazing the changes that occur on a daily basis at this age. We have so many moments to look forward to, but I really want to soak up this time we have, because alas it will someday be gone. Every time I see big kids with their parents I clutch her a little tighter and snuggle my face in her neck rolls soaking up every last bit of her. I have got to before she is so big she can tell me to let go and stop sticking my face in her neck that will no longer smell of tired breast milk.

Asleep in her stroller at farmer's market

Check out those blue eyes,  she is sporting that sweater that took me forever to crochet. It is supposed to be a 6 month size but I am afraid she won't be in it too much longer. Have you ever seen a Christmas Story? Her arms slightly resembled the little brothers on his way to school in the snow in this sweater :)

Me juggling Cameron and Marilyn at Mom's birthday dinner.

Snug in her carseat.

Pushing herself up.

Daddy trying to give her a bottle. It was unsuccessful, but we are working on it.

Here she is at a Labor Day family picnic. She is so big she no longer needs the infant attachment in the stroller :(

Found her thumb.

Exhausted while shopping for a clients home.