Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crawling, Cruising, Go, Go, Go!




You guys, how did we ever live without Skype? My parents and I see each other on the reg thanks to that incredible invention. Benjamin gets so excited when he hears the iPad ringing because he knows it's his abuelos.

For the last week my dad has been video coaching Ben to crawl. He cheers him on, tells him how to position himself, how to move his hands, cutest thing, I tell you. Today his coaching paid off when I set the iPad down and told Ben to go get  Abuelo, AND HE DID! He crawled!!! My parents were beside themselves with pride, and oh my heart could have burst!

I'd like to thank the inventor of that fine  program for making this family moment possible. Whoever you are XOXOXO. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Motherhood



Today Tim and I signed Benjamin up for day-care.
By that I mean we are on a waiting list, because as any parent around here knows, there is no way to just waltz into one of those facilities and get a place for your child on the spot. Six month minimum wait, but I've heard of lists of up to 2 years.

Ludicrous.

Then we came home, I made flourless pancakes, we played, and I put him down for a nap. Pretty typical day until I started hyperventilating at the thought of what we had just done. To keep myself busy I cleaned the kitchen, sliced the chicken, and would have had dinner ready by 3pm if the onions did not make me cry, and think of how lucky my mom was because she had grandma who was my day-care, my teacher, my confidant, my second mom. Then more tears, those darn onions. And I mean really, who the hell sent me to live 6,000 miles away from my parents anyway. My mom would so love to take care of him, then I would not be in this predicament, thinking about leaving my baby in someone else's care, making dinner at 2:30 in the afternoon, and crying all over the onions. Those darn onions.

And the Oscar for best kitchen drama goes to...

I am aware I am not the first, nor will I be the last mother to return to work leaving her baby(ies),  I am also keenly aware of how lucky I have been to take time off to spend the first year of my son's life raising him, not everyone has that luxury. Not in this country, anyway.
To top it off, I get to return to a job I love, to work with people I love and respect, so right about now you're probably wondering why I am whining.

The short answer is that Benjamin made me into who I was not.

The long answer is that God uses marriage and parenthood (if you allow Him) to make  us more like Him, to bring us closer, to allow us to feel a glimpse of the infinite love He has for us. The last nine months have been a testament to this very change in our lives, and although at the beginning it felt as if I was drowning, slowly He's teaching me to navigate the waters of love.

A year ago I did not know how to make flourless pancakes, I thought that I would give birth and promptly return to work, and I sure as heck did not picture myself crying over onions because a part of me wants to stay home. I cannot be the only one who loves her baby and her career, right? RIGHT?

Contrary to what I thought would happen, I love being a mother because it has challenged every fiber of my being. Motherhood has brought out in me a confidence I didn't know I had. I never felt more beautiful than when I was pregnant, if I ever was self conscious about my body, growing a human, birthing a human, and now, feeding a human, took care of that really fast. On that note, feeding a human? Not easy, at least not for me, but I stuck to my guns. Motherhood made me tenacious, for when I should have given up, I did not. I recently heard of someone I barely know whose unborn baby has a very rare condition that will only give her 20% chance of survival when she's born. My heart broke, I dropped to my knees and prayed and I am still for that mama and her heart. Motherhood has connected me to people on a deeper level, it has made me more human. Now when I see people struggle, being bullied, feeling neglected, hated, discriminated against, my heart aches because I think that could be my son, what if he ever has to suffer like that? Now I speak up. Motherhood has made me a catalyst for change, it has made me brave.

I could go on.

I was reading Romans last week and this verse stayed with me:

This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing what he does. God's promise arrives as pure gift. - Romans 4:16 The Message
So we are trusting that He will use me, us, our family and the people we have become through this incredible gift of parenthood. We are willing to "live in the risky faith-embrace of God's action", we know the risk and we are all in, teary onions and all.


P.S.  Even though this was written four hours ago, I am just getting to post it, because, you know, motherhood.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#12monthsofben: 9 Months

Sweater/hat/booties combo knitted with love by his tía Mago 

Ben is 9 months old today. He's been in the world the same amount of time he spent in my belly, which is crazy to think about. 

Likes: standing, rolling, moving, jumping, and yogurt. 
Dislikes: having his nose wiped. 

In the last month Ben got his first teeth, three of them! He puts them them to good use by ripping apart his food. 

He also got his first cold, in fact, this was the first time he's been sick since he was born, so let me just congratulate myself for doing my best to keep him healthy all this time. Lord knows there's nothing sader than a sick baby and his sleep deprived mother. 

Ben has learned to help me in the kitchen. By help I mean he bangs and pushes Tupperware around, sometimes I fill it with lentils or dry corn, and he thinks it is the best toy ever! Sensory play, am I right? 

Man, I wish I could keep him this little. 

I know it's only February, but all this warmish weather has me longing for spring. I cannot wait to have this little boy play in the dirt, and truth be told, I can't wait to ditch my boots for sandals. Come on early spring!








Saturday, February 14, 2015

Find love where you are







Tim and I started dating in January many years ago. By the time February rolled around, and our first Valentines's Day came, Tim, man of order, made reservations in one of my favorite restaurants and has been doing so every year since. 

That was until this year. 

Now we have a baby that has been sick for a week, and is teething, and we are trying to be conscious with our spending, what with living on one salary and all. So this year, we entered the Valentines's Day Chcolate Race because it combined my love for running, with something the three of us could do, no babysitter needed. And of course, chocolate. 

Turns out we were not the only ones! There was a 'stroller section' at the back of the lineup, and we were all met by cheering signs along the trail, a love tunnel that blasted Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer, and free hugs!

At the finish line treats and hot chocolate awaited, courtesy of Modern Dwellers, DJ Spencer Lee mixed the tunes, and there was an Instagram picture booth!!

We really enjoyed everything except for the picture booth because by then, Benjamin had peed through his clothes and {understandably} got fussy. We drove to Fire Island Bakery, changed Ben, and ordered our weight in carbs. 

Now we are home, Ben is asleep, and we plan on watching a movie. Certainly not what we're used to doing, but it was a fun day. You know, like Ed Sheeran says, we found love right where we are. 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

#conradvacay

Happy new year you guys!
Sorry, I just came back from vacation-land. I wrote the last 2 posts of the year on the other side of the hemisphere where I was unaware of dates or days.  I am just acclimating to freezing-land again, and in this household, 2015 started in February.

First, a dump-load of #conRADvacay pictures. You knew they were coming.


This is us landing after 20 hours of travel, at exactly 12:00am on new year's day.


Ahhh, yes, the gloriously warm beach.


Ben thought that sand was the best thing that ever happened to his feet.


While abuela played in the sand with Ben, abuelo, Tim, and I hit the umbrella drinks. Those piña coladas were LEGIT.


We had to.

Tim getting ready to jump on that flying contraption.


The spa after an Andean mud body wrap. Life does not suck.

Abuela's happy place.

He flirted enough with the flight attendants that they gave him his first set of wings.

Baby boy decided to get his first tooth on the last leg of the flight back home, so this was our status.

It was a REALLY good vacation, you guys. 
I was scared because of the hellish stories people told me about flying with kids, and everyone saying that vacations with kids aren't real vacations, but you know what? Ben was a champ on those planes, the 5 hour drive to the beach, and the 2 hour drive to the hot springs. And the abuelos and the rest of the family were so happy to finally be able to see him, that we really had to pry Ben back from their hands if we wanted to hold him. It was warm, restful, and a much needed time for Tim and I to consider a plan of attack to tackle 2015 in ways that help us get to where we want to be in a year. 

And now, onwards and upwards. Let 2015 unfold!













Sunday, January 18, 2015

#12monthsofben: 8 Months





Ben is 8 months old today. 

Likes: Eggs, jumping, the ocean, feet, shoes, hair. 

Dislikes: Being alone, sitting still. 

I am so glad that Benjamin has spent the last few weeks with my family. He is so loved! Everyone has been so sweet with him, and he's not shy to show them love even though for most of them this has been the first time meeting him. 

We took him to the beach and I don't think I have ever seen a little boy enjoy the ocean as much as he did. I mean, just look at his face! Taking him to the places I grew up in, watching him live what I did as a child, has been by far my best experience as a mother yet. 

Vacation looks good on you my love. I'm proud of the sweet boy you're growing up to be. 

"Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without." - Jodi Picoult 


Monday, January 5, 2015

Benjamin's nursery tour

I am taking a break from vacation land to guest post on Julia O'Malley's {{website}} I am sharing my inspiration and design process for Benjamin's nursery. 

For the full post and more pictures click  {{HERE}}

P.S. Do you need help designing your tiny's nursery? Contact me at f.e.r{at}me{dot}com


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