Thursday, January 2, 2014

So long, Holiday season! Hello 2014..

Happy Holidays, and happy new year as well. It's been a while, but I haven't had much time to write lately. Mainly because my kids have mastered being up, or being up and napping at completely opposite times, therefore having one always awake. So, with the exception of night time, I get little time with both of them quiet, and at night when they are both finally awake I make an attempt to relax on my own, which turns into my sleeping within minutes. Since little one nurses at night pretty often, my sleep is still on and off.. Mostly off.

I am so happy to welcome in a new year. I am excited to see what Isabel will learn in her school. I am excited to see my little Olive keep growing, and do more and more everyday. 

This year, I resolved to not make any major resolutions. I hate being disappointing, and quite honestly, I am the worst at keeping promises to myself. I did however make a few. 

 I promise to my husband to be less crazy. I can be a little fly off the handle, high-strung, and kooky at time. I need to chill at little bit. I need to roll with it (anything, doesn't matter what) a little more. I need to let things just happen and enjoy the ride some times. I need to turn off my internal sensor that make me start to get jittery every time it seems that something I didn't plan is going to happen, or might happen, and freak out less about it. Some of the most amazing things can happen when you lose a little control. 

I resolve to spend more 'meaningful' time with my girls. Less TV, less screens of any kind. Less checking my email and text messages as often. Less stressing about laundry, cooking perfect meals, and housework. How does that saying go, messy house, happy kids? Not that I am going to turn my house into a haven of sloppiness and dirt, I realize that cooking and cleaning are essential to normal parts of life,  but it's ok to fold laundry once they have gone to sleep. It's also ok that it sits in the basket for a day. 

I resolve to learn from them how to be silly. I don't need to be so serious. I will laugh with Isabel when she makes her goofy faces, really laugh. And with Olive, I will rediscover the joy in everything. The things that make her smile and her eyes widen. Those moments that are all so fresh and new to her infant mind, and since she will be my last baby, I will savor each one. 

I resolve to fall in love again with my husband. Not that I ever fell out of love with him, but falling in love is the best part about being in love, so I want to do it over and over again. I want us to be stronger than ever. I want to take the time to notice the look when he gives it to me, so I get the butterflies in my belly like I used to. I want to kiss when we wake up, and when we go to sleep. I want to snuggle together on the couch while the kids are sleeping and talk about our lives. I want him to remember why we fell in love as much as I want to. 

I want to practice random acts of kindness more often. Not because it's trendy or something I HAVE to do, but because I love the way it feels to make people happy. When I was working at my job, I could do little things for patients like make an extra phone call to get something done. Bring them tea on a cold day when they are sitting in the waiting room shivering. Making an extra appointment for them so they don't have to go home and wait on hold. Since I am no longer working in order to stay at home with my girls, I want to be able to still feel that warmth, and teach them how great it feels to give without expecting anything in return. 

Most of all I resolve to take it easy on myself. I am determined to realize that I am never going to be the idealistic mother I have set myself up to fail at being. My life is what it is. I am not going to keep trying to live up to the pinterest boards that I have made. I am not going to start loving myself more. I am going to take me time. I am going to love my new body, and dress it accordingly. I am going to be aware that my daughters are my mirror. They reflect back what I am putting out in the world. I am going to give them body confidence, happiness and love for themselves. I will tell them everyday not only how amazing they are, but that they can be both smart and pretty and they will never need to chose between the two, regardless of what society tries to tell them. 

I am going to try to do all of these things, but since I am trying to be less hard on myself this year, I am going to take it slow. I am not going to be the 'gym' resolution person who goes 7 days for 3 hours and never goes again because they are too burnt out. I am taking my changes little by little, one step at a time. 

Now, I have to get back to making my homemade  Minnie mouse shaped kombucha cupcakes and then finish weaving my girls' clothes on the loom I picked up from freecycle while meeting up with someone to sell them my coconut oil lotion. 

Haha, just kidding. I am going to sit with my family on the couch while eating store-bought almond milk Ice cream sandwiches and  pretend to know the answers on jeopardy. 

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!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ch ch ch changes.. and a little mush.

So much has changed since I last wrote. So much in fact that it has taken me weeks of staring at my blank 'new post' screen to even put the ideas into something resembling a complete thought.

I have yet to have written this publicly but as many people know, in September my husband lost his job. This threw our entire lives into upheaval. Between panic, tears and scrambling to figure things out, I haven't stopped very long to actually put into perspective what happened here..

Doing what every mother instinctively does, I tried to nurture those around me, and make everyone feel OK with the situation. I made one of the hardest decisions I had to, which was to go back to work during the daytime. I didn't have to. I mean, for lack of any other money making option, I guess I did.. but I could have  been bitchy and complain-y (more so, I guess) and said that I wasn't changing anything, that he lost his job and that he needed to fix it. But that's not what partners do.

Marriage is give and take,
and in this situation I HAD to give,
and with each day that passes, it seems like a lot.

And while I tear up a lot lately getting used to the idea of my husband being home with her, getting to take her to her library programs, put her hair in pigtails and chose what kind of waffle she will eat in the morning, let me enlighten you about my husband a little bit.

My husband had been working at a miserable job to keep up afloat. He swallowed his pride every morning he used to have to go to work to be belittled and eat shit all day by his former employers because he knew he had to make money to take care of his family. It was killing him, his spirit and his kindness and sense of self worth and it was not paying nearly enough to deal with a third of the garbage he had to put up with.

He's 1 and ( a little less than) a half months away from graduation for his Master's Degree (in addition to which he also got a Project Management Certificate) which has taken him a LONNNNNG 4 years of stress, sitting in a cold basement, missing family gatherings/holiday celebrations, early mornings, late nights, pre-and postnatal craziness (well me, but him by default) and did I say stress (?).. He's so close they've probably almost printed his name in his diploma, and I couldn't be more proud.

He spends each moment of every day worrying. He worries about money. He worries about how he will take care of his family. He worries about me and Isabel, and wants to be sure we are safe and happy. He worries he will disappoint me. He worries about  Isabel and hopes she will grow up to be a good person, and  hopes we are doing the best we can. He worries about bills, and late charges and finance rates.. and I wish he wouldn't worry so much.

He's the most loving, dependable and caring man I could have ever asked for. Isabel is lucky to have him as her daddy, and I am truly blessed to have him walk by my side in this crazy life we live together. He's always got my back, and although I can seem adverse to a lot of his 'hair-brained' ideas, I know for a fact that he only does all of the things he does for Isabel and I. We come before him. Or happiness, our safety, our security.. it comes before his and I want him to know that I realize that.

Thank you, Mr. Bermudez for all of your hard work and love.

I love you always.

Monday, August 6, 2012

When good girls go bad..


That's pretty much what I hear from the minute I wake up, until her tiny little eyelids fall closed at night. Apparently my daughters has not only learned the meaning of the word, she uses it often when I really want to hear anything but.. 

"Izzy, let's go change your diaper" "no!"
"Isabel do you want to eat?"' "nooooo"
"Isabel, don't touch that please!" "No, no, nooooooooooooooo!"

Okay okay, I guess calling her 'bad' isn't the nicest, most pc-mommy thing to do, but COME ON people!

I prayed every night for about a month prior to her 2nd birthday that she would not be a terrible two.. that the little 'moment' we had at about 18 months was the worst of it, and that the days after her 2nd birthday would be a bliss-filled cakewalk, while I scoffed at all the tantruming kids on the floors of supermarkets  reducing  their now teary-eyed and hoarse (from screaming) moms to mom-zombies whowould plead, beg and near lose their minds for just a glimpse of the child they *thought* they knew.

This was and is in fact, not the case. So, instead of just assuming that a) there is no God who would've  listened to my pleading for a well behaved child, or b) She/he was far too busy listening to the other moms with bigger and far more pressing issues, She/he decided to arm me with  books about deep breathing exercises, a night job and (lots of) wine to get through the part of my little girls life where she needs me so deeply, yet wants so intensely to express her independence that it often creates a storm between us.. Something similar to what creates a tornado; hot and cold air, running amok in the atmosphere. A strong vortex that sucks up all the energy, good and bad leaving a mess of destruction in it's wake..

Ok, so that was a little melodramatic, but you get the idea.

Who knew two-year old's were such complex little creatures? I never knew that such a strong desire for a particular outcome thwarted by an inability to complete or fulfill said desire could cause such an boiling over of emotions, (often times resulting in a display of floor exercises that could rival an Olympic athlete)? And while I feel that these moments last forever, in reality they are one just a quick moment out of my whole day, after which she is back to her sweet and loving self again.

Who knew that at the end of the day, it wouldn't matter. Each tantrum no matter how big or small isn't something we can't get through, regardless of how insane, destructive, embarrassing or over-dramatic. At the end of the day, we all put our heads down and sleep (hopefully!) and dream the day away. We cleanse our hearts and minds, and wake up again hoping that the brightness of the sun and the promise of a new day will wash away the insanity of the day before. Or at the very  least, gain the energy to deal with the craziness of yet another day with a two year old.

I am quickly learning that no one ever died from being told no (or at least, I don't think so), and me inciting a tantrum is not a question of my ability as a mother, but how I deal with it and all of the challenges of being mommy brings is. I don't expect to deal with all of them (or even 50% of them) perfectly, but I can try.

 And in the meantime, I have to start getting used to this, because I keep hearing that three is worse.. (gasp!)