Saturday, November 23, 2013

Did superwoman wear sweatpants?

Ok, I have to admit it.. On paper (kind of), in print for everyone to see.

I am a little depressed. Not postpartum depressed. I am post C-section depressed.

After my last c-section I feel like I bounced back so much quicker. In reality, as I read back in my older posts (see Hips don't lie, 8/10/10) that isn't the case, but I feel like I felt more 'ok' with myself after having Isabel.

I realize it's only been just shy of five weeks, but something is amiss here. I feel squishy-er, lumpy-er, old-er. I feel like last time  I took so much pride in the fact that I was pregnant,  had a baby, and had these breasts that fed my baby. It was all so amazing, so meaningful. The stretch marks and the lack of being able to fit into my former wardrobe as quickly as I wanted took third row seating to the fact that I was a new parent wading through the new tide that had come in. The saggy-ness of my belly didn't bother me as much, and the thought of the '6 week- you can have sex  and exercise again' appointment made me excited, not terrified of someone seeing my post-baby body.

For some reason, this time has lost it's beauty and sense of wonder,. Maybe because I've been here before. I know this path. Wait out the 6 weeks, heal my body, set up a steady supply of milk for your child, feed on demand. All of this, and  now continue to move with the rest of your life.

 Baby came, you had three days in the hospital to heal enough to go home, now carry on.

Perhaps the reason I feel the way I do is because I'm unsure that I  gave myself enough time to let my mind catch up with my body about having had another child.

I was so quickly back to business as usual that I wonder if my mind has completely wrapped itself around the fact that the wound in my belly, the engorgement of my breasts, the spit up on my shirt, the bags under my eyes are all due to the tiny miracle I often carry on my chest.

 I once wrote that the scars, the stretch marks and the spit up are all badges of honor-- Not to be taken lightly. I have to stop stressing about what I am wearing, and accept that it's OK to wear sweatshirts and put my hair up sometimes (ok, all the time lately, as I have no desire to wear anything else unless I am going somewhere that sweat might be construed as sloppy/inappropriate).

I can still be  an amazing, well put together mom in comfy clothes. Does it really matter if I am well dressed driving my kid in the car back and forth to preschool and then sitting around my  house with a kid latched onto me most time? Does anyone REALLY care if I am wearing black yoga pants and a sweatshirt or tights and a trendy dress? Nope. Just me.

So with each quiet moment, I am going to try to remind myself once again that these stretch marks are going to fade. 6 weeks will come, and it will be OK once again for me to work out and stress about my jeans size.
 But for now, I will  give myself time to enjoy each cuddle with my new girl. I will not stress about my belly jiggling too much, or that my thighs don't have a proper gap. I will eat to nourish myself enough to nourish my baby. I will get back into a workout routine slowly, and not curse myself for missing a day because the girls were in need of extra snuggle time and by the time they were satisfied/asleep I was just too damn worn from the day to bother.
For now, I will wear sweatpants.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This mommy's life, blog redux

So, it's been a while since my last blog post.. I got so distracted and busy with everyday life that I forgot about doing anything I really enjoy, except for a few things.
 Most importantly, I got pregnant. ;-)

I gave birth to another baby girl Olive Luisa on Oct 21,  and needless to say I am still adjusting to life as a mommy of two. Make no mistake, it's really hard! So far these are some of the things I have learned:

1) It doesn't matter if you have a new baby or not, when you have a 2nd (3rd, 4th, 8th) child, the other ones still expect things from you.  They have needs.  Many, many needs! Such as, but not limited to: Eating, wearing clean clothes, being bathed, wanting to play, cuddle and be read to before bedtime. Alone. More than likely without their new sibling, which may make it more difficult should your spouse/partner/whatever not be home or around to  help you do so. Which if you don't understand what I am trying to say, means cooking, cleaning, rocking, doing laundry, reading, washing, carrying, etc on very little to no sleep regardless of c-section incision or stitches or pain.

2) Your older child(ren) is/are going to be pissed. And jealous. And you are going to feel awful. So horrible in fact that you are going to (in desperate times) wonder if it would have been better not to have had another one, because you never meant to make the one that already existed  feel as if they weren't good enough, or that you needed something different, or more.

It will make you cry, it will rip your heart out, and it will make you realize how much you love your children because only a person you love so much can make you worry about them doubting you or not knowing how much you REALLY love them.

3) You should have been born an octopus. Because having 8 arms would be incredible, and given the chance you would put them all to good use!

4) A 2nd baby isn't that hard, you've done this before. Feed, change, cuddle to sleep- repeat. Boom, you got this.
 A 2nd child is a whole other kettle of fish. Suddenly you are responsible for two lives. Two sets of car seat buckles, two mouths to feed, two butts to wipe (age depending), two sets of appointments,  two sizes of clothes to wash, fold and separate, and the list goes on. And on. And on.

So as much as you have the baby thing down pat, no one can prep you for juggling two kids and all that comes with it.

5) I am kind of awesome. On two occasions I have made life happen. I was there for it, I saw it all. I helped bring two incredible lives into this world. . Two beautiful, amazing, smart, sweet, cuddly, best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-me lives.

6) Any day that I eat more than two meals and/or shower is a day worth celebrating.

 More often than not,  my days are filled with shirts covered in breast milk and spit up, eating only the crust left on my 3 year old's plate after she is finished and  finishing my morning cup of coffee (after having to reheat it at least three times) by 11am.  An actual meal and a hot (albeit probably only 5 minutes long) shower is like a dream come true.

7) There is no better place to be than when you are nursing a cuddly baby on the couch, and your three year old curls up next to you, snuggles in and sleepily tells you she loves you. Unconditional love. There's nothing quite like it. It's in moments like this when the clouds seem to part, and the sun peeks through, even if it's just briefly. Sometimes it's those little moments of calm that make all of the crap that proceeded it fall away.  These moments are so fleeting, if you blink you might miss it. However, if you are lucky enough to not be too stressed or overtired to notice them, they are just long enough to give you  incentive to keep on moving so you get to the next sweet and incredible moment.

Each day seems to be getting a little easier. Granted with each hurdle I leap, there is another to follow. Juggling doesn't seem any easier, but it looks less insurmountable. In time, I will look back at this first month and (hopefully, fingers crossed) it will seem like a distant memory, barely real. But until then, I will look forward to everything that having these two amazing little girls will bring me.

And I will keep muttering to myself on each sleepless night, over each tear from my eyes or moment of lost patience that 'This too shall pass'.

Until then.

My girls: Olive 4 weeks and Isabel 3.5 Years

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Morning, Sweeties!

Ok, so this is my first food blog post, so be kind and keep in mind that I am the FURTHEST thing from a food photographer! 

I have eaten many a muffin in my day... And as they have increased in size, I have noticed a severe decrease in anything nutritious, healthy or containing vitamins of any sort. Listen, I am the first to say that sometimes there is nothing better than a chocolate chip muffin, toasted just enough to melt the chocolate a little bit..BUT, for my everyday kid friendly-waist friendly recipe I have to at least TRY to maintain some semblance of a healthy eating lifestyle. 

That being said... Who doesn't love carrot cake? Or Zucchini bread?! I do. A lot. I have lots of yummy memories surrounding both.. So, that prompted me to start researching and opening my recipe files, and I found the recipe for a 'morning glory' muffin, which if you have never had it, you are definitely missing out! It's a yummy blend of carrots, coconut, apples and pineapple in muffin form with the crunch of nuts and the chewiness of raisins throughout.. 

So, with a few tweaks, substitutions and additions, I created my 'Morning, Sweetie! Muffins'.. because there is nothing that says good morning to the people you love like the smell of something amazing in the oven that you can feel good about feeding your family! 

Morning, Sweetie! Muffins 

Adapted from: Earthbound Farm's culinary consultant, Chef Pam McKinstry's Original Morning Glory Muffin Recipe

1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour 
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut 
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (use a 1/2 of the sweetened if you don't have/can't find the unsweetened version, no biggie!) 
1/2 raisins
1/4 cup craisins (dried cranberries, or just use 3/4 of all raisins or all craisins of you want, makes no difference!)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained. 
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans ( I omitted this to make them allergy friendly!) 
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
1/2 applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons nutmeg 
Note: this recipe is easily made vegan by omitting the 3 eggs and using the flax seed egg conversion, or a powdered egg replacement. 

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Grate carrots, apple and zucchini into a bowl, set aside. 
Sift or whisk together the sugars, flours, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
Add the coconut, dried fruit, apple, pineapple, carrots and nuts (if using), and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil, applesauce, spices and vanilla.  Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and blend well.
Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
This is  good time to clean! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

i needed a challenge...or maybe a project

So, this is less about my daughter and more about well, me. I know that new year's resolutions are can I put this? Silly, cliché, and not to mention possibly damaging to ones self esteem should you fail and fall into the 70% category of people who give up on their resolutions before the end of January.

So since I already try and keep to a healthy lifestyle, I wanted a challenge that would benefit not just me but my whole family, and help us all strive for positive change, but also make it something that  I can achieve with some ease, and being able to keep to my challenge while also keeping the somewhat nutty schedule that I do...

For those that know me, you know I love to cook, and cooking healthy is something that is important to me...and my ability to do so while making the food palatable to an almost three year old, a somewhat finicky Puerto Rican, and myself.

So here's the plan... OK, gonna attempt to blog what I cook, what my family's reaction is, and how I made it.

I am also going to make things as healthy, UN processed, and yummy as I can... I am also going to try to home make our treats, and figure, if I make it, at least I know what's in it....

So, stay plan is to have the first one up as soon as humanly possible. And yes, I know... Another food blog...blah. Deal with it, lol. I promise it will still have plenty of snarky mommy humor and quips about my little lady and the man in our life.

If there is any food, snack, or something special you'd like me to tackle, please feel free to comment, it'll make the challenge that much more fun!

Thanks everyone!