{this moment}

nana makes ellie laugh

“A single photo. No words. Capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.” – Joining Soulemama today. Happy Friday!

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Happy Spring!

spring 2013

 

Happy Spring! (Sorry I’m posting this so late. My mom’s birthday yesterday and my Mother-in-law’s today, plus a seven month old baby makes blogging regularly sometimes difficult. But better late than never). I thought I would start a new season with a list. A list of things I’d like to get done, accomplish, work on etc. I was inspired by this lady who does it on a monthly basis, but I didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself. These days we go with the flow and try not to get discouraged if things in life get to crazy or messy. But, lists are always good to help one get on track and help in creating routine and rhythm, so I thought I would start today. The first day of spring. How about you? What’s on your spring list?

Just Write: Following In Her Footsteps

Today is my mother’s birthday. Fifty-seven years ago my grandmother gave birth to her. These days I think about birthday’s a little differently. After going through labor and birth myself this past year, birthdays take on a new meaning for me. And this birthday is extra special because it’s my Mom’s. My Mom is a reading specialist at a local elementary school. She loves her job and you would have thought that she had been doing it for years upon years when you see how fantastic she is with the children. But, she’s rather new to the whole teaching scene. Before teaching she stayed at home with us. She stayed at home for over eighteen years, raising four children into adulthood. I asked her the other day if she regretted staying home with us. If she ever pined for time away, in an office or doing something other than changing diapers and making playdoh? She told me that raising her four kids was the best career choice she ever made. She wanted to be there for every milestone – every tear and every laugh and every smile. She explained that of course it was difficult to only live off of one income and she tried her best to bring in money here and there when she could (like selling Avon and taking in other people’s children). But she brought us into the world and she wanted to be the one to care for us throughout our days and years. She didn’t want to miss a second of watching and guiding her children’s growth. And she didn’t.

When I was growing up I wanted to be a veternarian and then a director and then a speech pathologist. I didn’t want to stay home with kids. The media and the mainstream made staying home seem weak. Women had to do it all and so I would. As luck would have it however, I ended up working at a childcare center during my college years. I loved it. I loved working with the children and I decided to pursue a career in caring for children. Other people’s children. I became so passionate about caring for children I ended up getting a masters degree in early childhood education. But, throughout all of this education and experience working with children, I began to realize something. Something bigger than anything I had ever felt before. I would call my Mom regularly after my classes and tell her “we just learned about such and such and it reminded me of what you used to do when we were kids.” I would call her after work some days and tell her, “I used your playdoh recipe today” or “I told the kids that story you always used to tell us about the cats and they laughed so hard some of them cried.” I was slowly realizing what I really wanted to do with my life. I realized the importance of being present with children and being gentle with children. I realized how much a parent could miss when they weren’t there. I was there for many firsts in other people’s children’s lives and I knew that I didn’t want that for my own children. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be like my mother, and stay home.

I gave birth to my first baby last year. I quit my job and have started my next career- full time stay-at-home mom. It’s tougher than I expected it would be but it’s also so much more than I thought it would be. I realize being home with my daughter that you don’t have to do it all, the career and motherhood. At least I don’t. It’s hard enough being a mother and watching these baby years just fly by without having to worry about a job getting in the way. I am a stay-at-home mother and I’m enjoying the wonderful times and the rough times.  I’m not sure how my own mother pulled it off with so much patience and grace, but I’m finding my way. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on a career outside the home. I find times to be creative. I find times to be me. But I’m also doing what I think is best for my daughter. I get to be there for everything. I love that. Some may say I’ve followed in my mother’s footsteps. And I like that. Because I think that, yes, I hope I’m following in her footsteps. She was and still is an incredible mother … and just like she knew,  I know, I’m right where I should be…home.

Happy Birthday Mom.

happy birthday mom

*joining Heather for another edition of Just Write.

Weekending!

 

foggy farmers market

farmers market

 

parade

 

strange vehicle

 

watching the parade

 

me and boo

 

raspberries

 

pincher grasp

 

garden goodies

 

planting

 

mom

It was a very green weekend. Happy St. Patricks’ day to you! The fog rolled in and stayed thick until sunday afternoon. It seemed winter was upon us again. Ellie and Jeff seemed to be feeling better so we did our usual farmers market on saturday but stayed for the annual St. Patricks’ Day Parade downtown. Let me tell you, Ventura has some interesting parade people. It was fun and Ellie seemed to enjoy the marching bands and the chaos of it all. Jeff’s parents joined us and we invited them back to our place for potato and leek soup and hot cocoa. It was chilly that day! Ellie has been trying all sorts of new foods, peas, pear, squash, sweet potato. She surprisingly seems to enjoy the veggies over the fruits. I’ve been trying to add in solids regularly now these days, but it’s harder than I thought trying to make baby food and determining when to feed her etc. We’re working out the kinks as we go.

Sunday we celebrated my Mom’s birthday (it’s the 19th but she has to work). We drove up and over the grade, through the pea soup fog and into a much sunnier and warmer area of Southern California. We spent the day gardening and relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. I made a lemon pound cake for my Mom, that I couldn’t get out of the pan. We dug into it with spoons. Very Good weekend. How was yours?

 

* linking up with Amanda.

Portrait Project

11/52

angel baby

Eloise: you had just woken from a nap when I took this picture. Your rosy cheeks and shining eyes made me smile a great big smile. You looked just like an angel. You’ve been sick with a head cold this week and it’s been a tough few days, on you,  Daddy (who got sick too) and Mama. I don’t like hearing you cry and not being able to make it all better. I’ve tried my best though with lots of cuddles, nursing, rocking and wearing you in the carrier. Get better my angel. I love you so. 

*joining jodi for the 52 project.

This week I loved the innocence of this portrait. These furry friends. And I think Jodi’s portrait of Che might be my favorite of hers so far (Poet is pretty darn cute as well).

Just Write: We Keep Walking

You’ve been sick these past few days. A little head cold. Nose is stuffy and eyes are red. It’s hard for you to nurse and it breaks my heart each time you pull away unable to suck and breath at the same time. You’ve been rightfully extra fussy these days and the only thing keeping Mama sane and you happy is taking walks. You prefer walking pressed up to me in the carrier. This way you can see the world from a safe distance and nurse when you feel the need. I love wearing you in the carrier but today, after hours of walking and no napping, Mama’s back is tired. But… I keep walking and I keep wearing you. We walk down the residential streets looking at the houses, making up stories of the people who call them home. We take deep breaths together, I can hear you sigh, your chest rising and your stuffy little nose crackling and wheezing every so slightly. We watch the trees that line the streets. Their branches sway back and forth. It’s a bit of a breezy day and I tuck your little arms closer into the carrier, you snuggle into my body a little closer. I kiss you on the forehead and you toss your head back a little and smile at me. “Dadadadada” you say to me or to no one or to this world you are just learning about. Your word of the day. You even mouth the dadada’s while you ride on my chest, practicing the way your tongue hits the roof of your mouth and gently pops out with each “ae” sound. You sneeze as we round the corner. “Bless you”, I say. You look up at me and watch my mouth move. You like watching me talk from inside the carrier. You can see how my tongue plays with my teeth as it finishes a sentence. We walk by some fragrant jasmine and I breathe it in and point it out to you. I like naming the flowers as we walk by them, “agapanthas, lantana, indian hawthorne.” My mother did the same when I was young and it stuck with me all these years. We keep walking. Your eyes are heavy but you don’t fall asleep. You nuzzle in for some milk and as I walk I let you eat. You peek your eyes up. You never want to miss anything. It’s too difficult to nurse and breathe. You break the latch and go back to making “dadada” sounds, watching the cars drive past us as we walk. It’s always quiet in our neighborhood. Quiet enough to hear each bird chirping. Sometimes I point them out to you on the telephone lines. Last week we saw a hawk. Your eyes got wide. Today we hear doves cooing. It’s a nice, quiet sound. We keep walking. Often I sing to you on our walks. Sometimes you listen and sometimes when you are very sleepy you start to sing with me. Oooos and Aaaaahhs. Your sleepy song. Today your body is fighting a bug and your eyes tell me you like the sound of my voice, singing you quiet lullabies, but you won’t join in today. We keep walking. We walk by the school. Children are out on the yard, playing their games. I ask you what kinds of things will you be into when you’re their age? I wonder what kind of mother I’ll be when you’re in school? I get anxious and excited just thinking about you being school-age. You feel heavier in the carrier. We keep walking. You want to nurse again. You nuzzle your head down near my breast never needing to say anything. I let you eat again and this time your head slowly releases closer to my body. Your hand grabs hold of my sweater and you’re so close to me I can almost feel your little heart beat against mine. I pull your sun hat up just a bit and as we walk I notice you have finally given in and fallen asleep. I kiss you on the forehead and I’m grateful I decided to keep walking. 

walking

* linking up a little late with Heather and Just Write.